As of 2019, there were nearly 650,000 vehicles in the federal government’s fleet, according to the General Services Administration. This includes 245,000 civilian vehicles, 173,000 military vehicles, and 225,000 post office vehicles. Those vehicles traveled 4.5 billion miles in 2019.
One federal agency that could desperately use a new fleet of zero-emissions vehicles is the United States Postal Service. Hundreds of the agency’s mail trucks, which are manufactured by Northrop Grumman, have caught fire over the last several years, Vice recently reported. And the USPS’s deadline for official bids to make its next-generation mail truck was delayed last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The program to replace the USPS’s current trucks was launched in 2015. But it has dragged on, forcing the postal service to keep its current trucks in service past their expected life span — despite the fact that they were introduced in the late 1980s and early ‘90s and lack features like air conditioning. Two of the original six companies have dropped out.