Sustainability Advocates Reject USPS Electrification Plan

Critics say the Postal Service's argument for its weak commitment to electrifying its vehicle fleet doesn't hold water.

1 minute read

January 13, 2022, 11:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Despite a mandate to electrify federal agency vehicle fleets by 2035, the U.S. Postal Service is only committing to replacing 10 percent of its delivery trucks with electric vehicles, a minimal pledge that sustainability advocates deem unacceptable. While the USPS revealed new, pedestrian-friendly truck designs last year, it appears most of them will still run on gas. As Kea Wilson reports, the agency, which operates the largest government-owned vehicle fleet in the nation, is citing financial and logistical challenges. 

The agency claims that it would be difficult to keep EV batteries charged during long mail routes, but the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) rejects this argument, pointing out that "fewer than 6 percent of U.S. mail routes are longer than 70 miles, while today’s electric cargo vans can already go 140 miles on a charge — a capacity that’s likely to go up as battery technology improves."

According to the article, linked below, the agency also fails to mention the possibility of introducing electric cargo bikes or tricycles for mail delivery in dense urban areas, despite their potential to slash emissions and cost. Advocates tout the environmental, financial, and public health benefits of switching to electric bikes and trikes where appropriate.

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