Technology and Innovation, Transportation

USPS Unveils First Charging Stations and EVs Under Plan for Nation’s Largest Electric Fleet

The U.S. Postal Service (USPS), alongside White House officials, unveiled its first set of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations at its South Atlanta Sorting and Delivery Center (S&DC). Charging stations like these will be installed at hundreds of new S&DCs across the country throughout the year and will power what will be the nation’s largest EV fleet. In total, the USPS plans to deploy more than 66,000 EVs by 2028.

Courtesy: USPS

Electrification and modernization of the USPS’s delivery fleet is part of the organization’s $40 billion investment strategy to upgrade and improve its 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 (DFA) 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.”

Brenda Mallory, chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, added, “USPS is leading by example by building the world’s largest electric delivery vehicle fleet.”

At the unveiling event, the USPS also showcased new battery-powered and domestically manufactured commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) delivery vehicles that will make up a portion of its 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.

The procurement of EVs and charging stations is enabled by the USPS’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.

Building a nationwide charging network

As part of its 10-year DFA plan, the USPS expects to convert approximately 400 selected sites into S&DCs 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 2024, the USPS has opened 29 S&DCs nationwide.

The charging stations displayed at the Atlanta S&DC were manufactured by Siemens. These stations will be able to efficiently charge USPS EVs overnight prior to the next day’s deliveries. The USPS’s first 14,000 EV chargers will be manufactured by three suppliers: Siemens, Rexel/ChargePoint, and Blink.

Electrifying America’s largest and oldest federal fleet

The unveiling event featured battery-electric COTS vehicles manufactured by the Ford Motor Co. The USPS plans on procuring a total of 21,000 COTS EVs—including 9,250 from Ford—depending on market availability and operational feasibility. In addition, the USPS anticipates adding at least 45,000 battery-electric Next Generation Delivery Vehicles (NGDV) 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. The USPS will also continue to explore the feasibility of achieving 100% electrification for its delivery vehicle fleet.

In addition, updating and modernizing the USPS’s fleet will allow delivery vehicles to haul larger volumes of mail and packages. For example, the Ford E-Transits displayed at the event have nearly three times the cargo capacity of the Grumman LLV delivery vehicles that the USPS 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.

Learn more about the USPS’s sustainability efforts here.

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