Washington D.C. (May 11, 2021)—Today, Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform Carolyn B. Maloney, Chairman of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Peter DeFazio, Oversight and Reform Subcommittee on Government Operations Chairman Gerald E. Connolly, and Representative Jared Huffman led a group of more than 50 House Democrats sending letters to President Biden and Speaker Pelosi requesting support to enable the United States Postal Service to purchase an all-electric delivery fleet and the infrastructure to support that fleet.
“There has never been a more critical time to ensure that all federal vehicles produce zero emissions, including the over 228,000 delivery vehicles operated by the Postal Service,” wrote the Members. “The Postal Service simply cannot afford to lock in another 25 years of reliance on primarily fossil fuel delivery vehicles—to do so would be short sighted and fiscally disastrous for the already struggling agency, which has lost $69 billion over the last eleven years. It would also add another 25 years of unacceptable emissions at a time when the world is rightly moving away from combustion engines.”
On January 27, 2021, President Biden issued an Executive Order calling for a comprehensive plan to acquire only “clean and zero-emission vehicles” for the entire federal fleet, including the Postal Service fleet.
“We support this goal, and we strongly support President Biden’s proposal to include funding for electrification of the Postal Service fleet in the American Jobs Plan,” added the Members.
The Postal Service currently owns and operates one of the world’s largest civilian vehicle fleets, composed of more than 228,000 vehicles. Over 140,000 of these vehicles are decades old, average only ten miles per gallon, and have reached the end of their 24-year operational lifespan. Maintaining these aging vehicles comes at a high environmental and financial cost—the Postal Service spends $2 billion and over 30,000 hours per year on delivery vehicle maintenance, and in Fiscal Year 2019 fuel costs alone for these vehicles totaled $491 million. Many of these vehicles also pose risks to the frontline workers who drive them. They lack airbags and anti-lock brakes, and there have been numerous accounts of these vehicles catching fire.
On February 23, 2021, the Postal Service announced the selection of Oshkosh Defense to produce the new Next Generation Delivery Vehicle (NGDV) for the Postal Service. Although the NGDV will provide much needed modernization of the delivery fleet, unfortunately, this fleet will not be fully electric. The Postal Service has informed the Oversight Committee that although it supports the creation of a fully zero-emission fleet, it cannot currently afford the acquisition of solely electric vehicles.
To ensure that any federal funding appropriated to the Postal Service for fleet acquisition is used appropriately, the Members would include requirements in legislation that at least 75% of the Postal Service’s new fleet must be electric or zero-emission, and that the Postal Service may acquire only electric or zero-emission vehicles after 2040.
Click here to read the letter to President Biden.
Click here to read the letter to Speaker Pelosi.