Critics Slam USPS Failure To Pursue An Electrification Strategy

Most of you probably do not read the federal registry. It is the place where the government publishes all its proposed purchase decisions, from toilet seats to warplanes. These are mind-boggling things, so you might be sorry if you missed the latest announcement from the U.S. Postal Service, which says it has conducted an exhaustive environmental impact assessment and decided that yes, the entire fleet of vehicles its carriers use to deliver the mail – many of which were built in the 80s – needs to be replaced.

Last year, the USPS decided that it would award the contract to build its next generation of delivery vehicles for Oshkosh Defense, and that 90% of them would use good old-fashioned gasoline engines. Since the postal service only buys new vehicles every 40 years or so, that means America would be lined with exhaust-sucking mail vans until well beyond the middle of the century. The post office says it would love it if all the new vehicles ran on electrons instead of molecules, but hell there is just not enough money in the budget to pay for them.

According to Gizmodo, the latest announcement in the federal registry says electrification of the new supply fleet is the “preferred option,” but the USPS would need $ 3.3 billion more than what Congress has approved to make it happen. And besides, some rural routes are too long, electric vehicles do not have enough range and there are not enough chargers. Get the picture? America has $ 1.5 trillion for a new generation of fighter jets that can barely get off the ground, but $ 3.3 billion for electric mail trucks over 10 years? It can not be done. No way, no how.

The latest environmental impact statement says 165,000 new electric trucks would eliminate about 537,000 tonnes of direct exhaust emissions from the postal service each year. These emissions are annoying things like carbon dioxide that causes the planet to overheat, and fine particles that lower cognitive function in children, making people sick and leading to shorter lifespans. But such mysterious concerns are lost on people like Joe Manchin, the alleged West Virginia senator who has put the kibosh on any spending legislation that could actually benefit real Americans instead of businesses. To save you the hassle of reading the Federal Register yourself, here’s the relevant part of this week’s announcement:

The US Postal Service announces the availability of the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) to purchase 50,000 to 165,000 custom-built right-hand drive vehicles (NGDV) over ten years to replace existing nationwide delivery vehicles nearing the end of their Although the postal service has not yet determined the exact mix of the powertrains in the new vehicles to be purchased, at least ten percent of the NGDV during the proposed action will have battery electric (BEV) drivelines, while the rest is internal combustion (IS). The FEIS evaluates the environmental impact of the proposed action, as well as two BEV and ICE commercial off-road vehicle alternatives (COTS) and the “no action” option. US Postal Service make a final decision regarding the proposed action and u make a decision. “

According to Street blog, The Natural Resources Defense Council rejected the agency’s reasoning, saying it drastically overestimates the distance the average mail car travels, while underestimating the mileage the average electric car is able to travel before connecting. The group pointed out that less than 6% of U.S. mail routes are longer than 70 miles, while today’s electric vans can already drive 140 miles on a single charge. The range is likely to increase as battery technology improves.

“The U.S. Postal Service has confirmed that it is doomed to consider the real economic and health benefits of switching to zero-emitting electric vehicles,” said Patricio Portillo, transportation analyst at NRDC. “This is a lost opportunity and a huge disappointment. Given the current and future economy of electric vehicles, there is no reason why the planning of the widespread shift to emission-free vehicles should wait. Electric vehicles clearly make long-term economic sense. , and the postal service should start planning now for a faster transition. “

Street blog also notes that the USPS has not adopted the use of much cheaper 2- and 3-wheel electric delivery bikes like those used by most major delivery services such as UPS, FedEx and DHS in urban environments around the world.

The result is that the U.S. Postal Service plans to occupy America with last-century technology until at least the middle of this century. It’s simply insane. But a defense contractor will make a nice profit on this event, so don’t worry, folks. It’s just business as usual in America – unfortunately.

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