Sat. Apr 20th, 2024

The USPS Could Be Transformative for Decarbonizing America—if Only It Weren’t Run by Louis DeJoy

December 23, 2022


This week, the United States Postal Service announced that it will purchase 66,000 electric vehicles to replace its aging fleet of iconic white delivery trucks and that, come 2026, all of its new vehicles will be E.V.s. The announcement is exciting, and an example of what supporters of the Green New Deal had been advocating for a while: that the U.S. government’s purchasing power is a key tool for speeding along decarbonization, creating markets for products that wouldn’t exist otherwise, and prodding companies to work out the kinks as they scale up production.

Still, it’s pretty small-bore stuff. The USPS only plans to electrify 40 percent of its fleet. The newly announced purchases also only represent about 10 percent of the existing federal fleet of cars, SUVs, and trucks, which is the largest in the world. That means the majority of the fleet will still run on gasoline for the foreseeable future. What’s more, the internal combustion engine–powered versions of the USPS’s “Next Generation Delivery Vehicles,” or NGDVs, get just 8.6 miles per gallon. How much more quickly could the USPS decarbonize without its Trump-appointed head, Louis DeJoy?

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