As you may have already heard, the Biden Administration is working to stop the US Postal Service from following through with its future plans. The administration is not in support of the previous proposal for a number of reasons, though the key issue here is the fact that, if the plan is carried out, the USPS will spend billions on more gas-powered vehicles.
Of course, the USPS has a very different story to tell, and this is especially true of its Postmaster General and Chief Executive Officer Louis DeJoy. A recent update from the USPS puts emphasis on an initial order of some 5,000 EVs for the country’s largest fleet.
The release also notes that the organization is moving forward with the plan to replace old, inefficient, and unsafe delivery vehicles, and further reiterates the Postal Service’s commitment to electric vehicles. DeJoy said:
“Our commitment to an electric fleet remains ambitious given the pressing vehicle and safety needs of our aging fleet as well as our dire financial condition. The proposed action, which we are evaluating under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), includes an initial order plan for 5,000 electric vehicles, and the flexibility to increase the number of electric vehicles introduced should additional funding become available.”
As you can see, the true message contained in the USPS update is that there can’t and won’t be an increase in electric delivery vehicles beyond the 5,000 mentioned above unless funding becomes available. DeJoy makes it abundantly clear that without additional funding, it would simply be irresponsible, not to mention impossible, for the USPS to attempt to add more EVs. DeJoy continued:
“Absent such funding, we must make fiscally responsible decisions that result in the needed introduction of safer and environmentally cleaner vehicles for the men and women who deliver America’s mail.”
As the USPS has moved forward with drafting its plan, it has worked closely with federal agencies to make sure it’s completing the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process to the best of its ability. The NEPA law encourages federal agencies to pay close attention to the environmental impact of future plans. According to the recent release, the USPS suggests that it “believes it has fully satisfied the requirements of the statute.”
DeJoy goes on to say that the post office faces billion-dollar losses each year, though it’s still expected to focus on sustainability. Meanwhile, delivery companies in the private sector are seeing billion-dollar profits. He added that Congress is aware of the need for the additional resources required to speed up the USPS’ transition to electric vehicles.
The release also mentions that the Postal Service must consider and implement charging infrastructure to go along with the influx of electric delivery vehicles. This, all while the USPS doesn’t typically get any federal tax money to cover operating expenses. It must rely on incoming funds from “postage, products and services to fund its operations.”
With the massive growth of electronic communications, people simply aren’t relying on the post office as they used to, which means funding is simply unavailable.