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USPS unveils first charging stations and electric delivery vehicles

The rollout of the nation’s largest EV fleet is part of the Delivering for America plan

Three government officials stand near a USPS delivery vehicle
Louis DeJoy, at left, Brenda Mallory and John Podesta show a new USPS battery-powered delivery vehicle during an unveiling event in Atlanta on Jan. 22.

The Postal Service, alongside White House officials, unveiled its first set of electric vehicle charging stations at the organization’s South Atlanta Sorting and Delivery Center on Jan. 22.

Charging stations like those at the Atlanta facility will be installed at hundreds of new sorting and delivery centers across the United States throughout the year and will power what will be the nation’s largest electric vehicle (EV) fleet.

Electrification and modernization of the Postal Service’s delivery fleet is part of the organization’s $40 billion investment strategy to upgrade and improve the USPS processing, transportation, and delivery networks.

“The improvements we need to achieve in sustainability are an integral outgrowth of the broader modernization efforts we have undertaken through our 10-year Delivering for America plan,” said Postmaster General Louis DeJoy. “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. We are grateful for the support of Congress and the Biden administration through Inflation Reduction Act funding, which helped enable the electrification in evidence here today.”

“In every neighborhood in America, people know their postal carrier and recognize the USPS vehicle driving down their street,” said John Podesta, senior advisor to the president for clean energy innovation and implementation. “The work USPS is doing to electrify those vehicles is making EVs commonplace on every road and street in our country, while reducing air pollution and increasing comfort and safety for the dedicated public servants who deliver our mail.”

“Today is a victory for the U.S. Postal Service, America’s electric vehicle industry, workers and the environment,” said Brenda Mallory, White House Council on Environmental Quality chair. “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.”

USPS also showcased new battery-powered and domestically manufactured commercial off-the-shelf delivery vehicles that will make up a portion of the Postal Service’s EV fleet.

Deployment of electric delivery trucks will start in Georgia and then expand to other locations across the country throughout the year. The vehicles feature air conditioning and advanced safety technology and are designed to meet modern operational requirements.

A USPS vehicle parked near an electric charging station
A USPS battery-electric vehicle charges at a station at the South Atlanta Sorting and Delivery Center.

The procurement of EVs and charging stations is enabled by the Postal Service’s overall network modernization efforts — which allow more rapid EV deployment — as well as its improving financial condition, which includes $3 billion in congressional funding appropriated under the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).

As part of its Delivering for America plan, the Postal Service expects to convert approximately 400 selected sites into sorting and delivery centers nationwide.

These centers — which provide faster and more reliable mail and package delivery over a greater geographic area — will serve as the local hubs to deploy EVs along local carrier routes.

As of January, the Postal Service has opened 29 sorting and delivery centers nationwide.

The charging stations displayed at the Atlanta Sorting and Delivery Center were manufactured by Siemens. These stations will be able to efficiently charge Postal Service EVs overnight prior to the next day’s deliveries.

The Postal Service’s first 14,000 EV chargers will be manufactured by three suppliers: Siemens, Rexel/ChargePoint and Blink.

The battery-electric commercial off-the-shelf vehicles are manufactured by Ford Motor Co.

USPS plans on procuring a total of 21,000 commercial off-the-shelf EVs — including 9,250 from Ford — depending on market availability and operational feasibility.

In addition, the Postal Service anticipates adding at least 45,000 battery-electric next-generation delivery vehicles by 2028, bringing the total number of EVs in the delivery fleet to more than 66,000.

This represents one of the largest commitments to vehicle electrification in the nation. USPS will continue to explore the feasibility of achieving 100 percent electrification for its delivery vehicle fleet.

Updating and modernizing the Postal Service’s fleet will allow delivery vehicles to haul larger volumes of mail and packages.

For example, the Ford E-Transits displayed at today’s event have nearly three times the cargo capacity of the Grumman LLV delivery vehicles that the Postal Service currently uses.

Increased cargo capacity will reduce inefficient transportation, improve delivery operations and eliminate the need for many second trips carriers take to deliver high volumes of packages.

The Postal Service’s 10-year Delivering for America transformation and modernization plan provides the foundation for the organization to continuously improve the sustainability of its operations.

The environmental benefits of the plan will increase as the Postal Service moves forward with this transformation, with every improvement to USPS operations — from new facilities to improved transportation utilization and delivery route refinements — helping reduce the organization’s carbon footprint.

The USPS website has more information regarding Postal Service sustainability efforts.