In a significant step towards modernizing its operations and reducing its carbon footprint, the United States Postal Service (USPS) has begun deploying electric vehicle (EV) charging stations and electric delivery vehicles. This move, initiated at the South Atlanta Sorting and Delivery Center (S&DC), marks the commencement of a national strategy to create a more sustainable postal service.
Delivering for America Plan
At the heart of this initiative is the USPS’s ambitious 10-year “Delivering for America” plan, which aims to overhaul the nation’s postal network. The plan, supported by the White House and facilitated by a $3 billion congressional appropriation under the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), seeks to modernize USPS operations and significantly enhance its environmental sustainability.
Postmaster General Louis DeJoy outlined the vision behind this transformation. “As we transform our operating processes and invest in new automation, new technologies, and upgraded facilities and vehicles, we will generate significant efficiencies that reduce our costs, slash our carbon footprint and minimize waste,” DeJoy said. His emphasis on sustainability as an integral part of USPS’s broader modernization efforts underscores the holistic approach the agency is taking.
White House Officials
This initiative is not just about modernizing the fleet but also about making electric vehicles a more common sight on American roads. John Podesta, Senior Advisor to the President for Clean Energy Innovation and Implementation, highlighted the societal impact of the USPS’s move. “In every neighborhood in America, people know their postal carrier and recognize the USPS vehicle driving down their street,” Podesta noted, adding that the electrification of these vehicles would mainstream EVs while improving air quality and safety for postal workers.
White House Council on Environmental Quality Chair Brenda Mallory celebrated the dual benefits of this transition, viewing it as a win for both the environment and the economy. “USPS is leading by example by building the world’s largest electric delivery vehicle fleet and delivering on President Biden’s Investing in America agenda resulting in cleaner air, better health and good-paying jobs in communities across the country,” Mallory said.
Ford E-Transits and Other EVs
The USPS’s plan includes the procurement of 21,000 commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) EVs, with 9,250 coming from Ford, and the addition of at least 45,000 Next Generation Delivery Vehicles (NGDVs) by 2028.
This fleet upgrade represents more than just a shift to electric power. The new vehicles, such as Ford’s E-Transits showcased at the event, come equipped with advanced safety technology, air conditioning, and nearly triple the cargo capacity of the existing fleet.
The charging infrastructure, a critical component of this shift, is being spearheaded by manufacturers like Siemens. The first 14,000 EV chargers, also provided by Rexel/ChargePoint and Blink, will enable efficient overnight charging of the vehicles.
With the aim of converting around 400 sites into S&DCs nationwide, these centers will serve as local hubs for EV deployment, enhancing the speed and reliability of mail and package delivery across a broader geographic area. As of January 2024, 29 S&DCs have been operationalized.
The following comment about this initiative comes from Ford. “Congratulations to the United States Postal Service on electrifying its South Atlanta Sorting and Delivery Center, signaling a big step forward in their plan to deliver a more sustainable future with electric vehicles and charging. Our dedicated Ford Pro and E-Transit team are proud to play a role in helping to electrify the largest federal fleet in the country,” said Jim Farley, Ford president and CEO.
The sweeping modernization of USPS operations through the Delivering for America plan not only promises to revolutionize the way the postal service operates but also serves as a significant step towards a more sustainable future, reducing the organization’s carbon footprint with each improvement. This initiative by the USPS sets a precedent in federal fleet electrification and marks a pivotal moment in America’s journey towards cleaner transportation.