You can lead a government institution to electrification, but you can't make it charge.
As the EV industry starts to gain some serious momentum, government entities are slowly starting to catch up to the idea that global warming and carbon dioxide emissions are big problems. President Biden last year announced that he intends to spend billions of dollars to expand the US EV charging network, and even went as far as to say that the federal government would buy 600,000 EVs in order to get its fleet of vehicles to a zero-emission state by 2035. This is all positive news, but at least one segment of the US bureaucracy isn't onboard - the US Postal Service.
The USPS is set to replace the Grumman Long Life Vehicles (LLV) that have been in service since 1987. To everyone's shock and horror, the new Next Generation Delivery Vehicles (NGDV) supplied by Oshkosh Defense return terrible gas mileage. The EPA has pleaded with the Postal Service to reevaluate the $11.3 billion deal, but the appeal has fallen on deaf ears, and the US Postal Service seems to be going ahead with the deal.
The USPS announced yesterday that it would be going through with the deal, and acknowledged the EPA's concern over its abysmal fuel consumption rating of only 8.6 mpg. That's worse than a Bugatti Chiron, which manages a terrible 11 mpg combined. Despite calls for electric postal vehicles, the Postmaster General Louis DeJoy simply stated that "the process needs to move forward."
The USPS has however stated that it plans to introduce 5,000 EV delivery vans into its fleet starting in 2023 and that it's aiming for 10 percent electrification. By 2040, this number will increase to 75%. The current fleet of 150,000 Grumman LLVs will be replaced by vans that get 0.4 mpg more and will consume 110 million gallons annually.
The Biden administration and EPA are not impressed with the USPS which operates independently from both those seats of power and claims that its Environmental Impact Statements (EIS) were not completed correctly. The EPA made a statement, telling the USPS that "the final EIS does not disclose essential information underlying the key analysis of Total Cost of Ownership, underestimates greenhouse-gas emissions, fails to consider more environmentally protective feasible alternatives, and inadequately considers impacts on communities with environmental justice concerns."
The USPS could be taken to court over this move, with a number of environmental law firms interested in the case.
The Postal Service has hit back by claiming that electric vans would be too expensive and that the USPS must remain self-sufficient.
The private industry is rapidly adopting EV vans and trucks. Amazon is starting to use EV vans from Rivian, and FedEx is partnering up with General Motors to purchase a fleet of BrightDrop EV600 vans. This move by the USPS proves that the human race will place profit before sustainability until it's too late.