After a build up of public pressure, the United States Postal Service recently announced its plan to transition 40 percent of its new mail trucks to electric. The announcement was made after “a lawsuit filed by environmental groups CleanAirNow KC and Sierra Club represented by Earthjustice, and a spate of lawsuits from the United Auto Workers, NRDC, and over a dozen state attorney generals,” according to a press release.
“After a swift spate of lawsuits from environmental groups and UAW, inquiries from members of Congress, and a barrage of public pressure from Americans weighing in with thousands of public comments, the postal service is beginning to get the message,” Adrian Martinez, senior attorney on Earthjustice’s Right to Zero campaign, said. “They’re now making forty percent of their next fleet purchase battery electric.”
Out of the new fleet, half of the 50,000 mail trucks to be purchased from Oshkosh Defense will be EVs while the USPS will purchase “34,500 commercially available vehicles, with sufficient electric models to make 4 in 10 trucks in its delivery fleet zero-emission vehicles,” the Washington Post reported. Climate activists hailed the announcement as a victory in reducing the “government’s environmental footprint” since the agency’s plan increased from 10 percent earlier this year.
“Ultimately, the entire postal fleet needs to be electrified to deliver clean air in every neighborhood in the country and avoid volatile gas prices,” Martinez said. “The fight continues for an electrified postal delivery fleet.”
The new fleet of EVs are set to to start delivering mail in late 2023 and will align with President Biden’s goal for the “entire government fleet to be EV-powered by 2035,” the Washington Post reported.
“The facts on the ground show that mail trucks in the U.S. can and should be electric,” Martinez said. “These vehicles are amongst the easiest to electrify, as they tend to run on short, set routes, idling often.”