Congressman Ryan urges President and Speaker to make U.S. postal fleet 100% electric
Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-13) urged President Biden and House Speaker Pelosi to transition the United States Postal Service's delivery vehicle fleet to entirely electric vehicles.
In a letter to each official, Rep. Ryan joined with 53 other lawmakers encouraging the top Democrats to support funding in the upcoming infrastructure package, the American Jobs Plan, to enable the Postal Service to purchase an all-electric delivery fleet and the needed 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 lawmakers. "The Postal Service simply cannot afford to lock in another 25 years of reliance on primarily fossil fuel delivery vehicles-to would so be short-sighted and fiscally disastrous for the already struggling agency, which has lost $69 billion over the last 11 years. It would also add another 25 years of unacceptable emissions at a time when the world is rightly moving away from combustion engines."
"The Postal Service has the potential at this critical moment to be an innovative leader in the fleet acquisition and make bold investments in climate-focused reform. We ask for your continued leadership on this critical effort to electrify the Postal Service fleet," the lawmakers continued.
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.
The lawmakers say 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 have neither airbags nor anti-lock brakes, and there have been numerous accounts of these vehicles catching fire.
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.
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 the modernization of the delivery fleet, this fleet will not be fully electric.
The Postal Service has informed the Committee that although it supports the creation of a fully zero-emission fleet, it cannot currently afford the acquisition of solely electric vehicles.
Under its current financial constraints, the Postal Service can only commit that 10% of the up to 165,000 vehicles planned for purchase under this contract over the next ten years will be electric or zero-emission.
Lawmakers proposed a requirement that at least 75% of the Postal Service's new fleet must be electric or zero-emission and the Postal Service would only be able to acquire electric or zero-emission vehicles after 2040.
Congressman Ryan has previously called on the U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors to halt a 10-year contract to produce up to 165,000 Next Generation Delivery Vehicles (NGDV) until the contract could be reviewed.
Ryan joined with other members to reintroduce the Postal Vehicle Modernization Act, which would provide the USPS with the funding needed to electrify the postal fleet.