USPS Doubles EV Purchase After Public Pressure

Chris Teague
by Chris Teague
usps doubles ev purchase after public pressure

We’ve been hearing about the new USPS mail trucks for what seems like years, but the government agency is only just getting into the ordering process for the funky delivery vehicles. Earlier this week, the USPS stated that it would double the number of electric delivery vehicles it would order, following pushback from the White House and the public.

Though the federal government and almost every major automaker are pushing hard toward an electric future, the purchase became highly controversial when Postmaster General holdover Louis DeJoy announced that just 10 percent of the massive fleet purchase would be electric. That number was revised to 40 percent after severe and immediate blowback, and now the USPS expects to spend $9.6 billion through 2028 buying up to 45,000 electric delivery vehicles from Oshkosh Defense. It will purchase another 21,000 electric vehicles in off-the-shelf commercial configurations.

Despite the sharp increase in the number of electric mail carriers being ordered, the USPS appears pragmatic about converting to EVs. It acknowledged that gasoline-powered vehicles will be “necessary to meet immediate vehicle replacement needs.”

The current vehicle of choice for mail carriers is the Grumman LLV (long-life vehicle), which has been a major component of USPS mail delivery since the late 1980s. The aging fleet is almost a national embarrassment at this point, as the vehicles are all years past their useful lifespans, and the distinct sound they produce as they not so gracefully lumber through suburbia won’t easily be forgotten. 

Oshkosh Defense’s replacement looks like something out of the future compared to the old Grumman. An enormous windshield will help prevent pedestrian collisions, and the trucks offer more creature comforts for mail carriers than the barebones Grumman.

[Image: Eric Glenn via Shutterstock]

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