The US Postal Service has been deliberating about a modernization of its ancient vehicle fleet for nearly a decade. The odds-on favorite to win the contract was the Workhorse Group, which had proposed an all-electric delivery vehicle, so many were surprised when the USPS awarded the contract to Oshkosh Defense. The surprise turned to outrage when the USPS announced that only 10% of the new vehicles would be electric (it appears that Oshkosh has never built an EV, although it claims that its vehicle can be built with either an ICE or electric powertrain).
Recently (as the Washington Post reported) some 50 US House Democrats sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and President Joe Biden, calling for the USPS to receive an $8-billion bailout that would provide the funding needed to buy new electric delivery vehicles.
“To ensure that any federal funding appropriated to the Postal Service for fleet acquisition is used appropriately, we would also include a requirement in legislation that at least 75% of the Postal Service’s new fleet must be electric or zero-emission,” says the draft letter. “Further, we would require the Postal Service to acquire only electric or zero-emission vehicles after 2040.”
Now Bloomberg reports that House lawmakers added the measure to a bill aimed at better tracking mailed ballots, which has now been sent to the full House for consideration. The amendment would ensure that 75% of new vehicles purchased by USPS are zero-emission vehicles.