USPS Is Planning a New Environmental Impact Statement

The new United States Postal Service mail truck has been hit with controversy essentially since Oshkosh was selected to build it. But now, USPS is planning to change that by expanding the number of electric vehicles in its fleet. This news comes as the postal service issues an update to its environmental impact statement for the Next Generation Delivery Vehicle and through potential route changes that will make EV mail trucks more practical.

USPS may get more electric mail trucks

Earlier this month, USPS announced that it will publish a Notice of Intent to change its environmental impact statement in regards to the Oshkosh NGDV mail truck. This announcement comes as the agency intends to streamline some of its delivery networks to improve mail routes. These route changes should make them more efficient, and it may even mean the USPS can order more EV mail trucks than it had originally intended to. 

The Oshkosh NGDV is the next generation of USPS mail trucks.
Oshkosh Next Generation Delivery Vehicle | Oshkosh

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy had this to say on the matter: “As I noted when we placed our initial NGDV delivery order, the Postal Service would continue to look for opportunities to further increase the electrification of our fleet in a responsible manner, as we continue to refine our operating strategy and implement the Delivering for America plan.”

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Will new USPS mail trucks be electric?

When Oshkosh originally won the bid to build the new USPS mail trucks, the company had stated that the NGDV could be electric or utilize a traditional combustion engine. Despite an executive order from the Biden administration that called for government fleets to transition to zero-emission vehicles, the Postal Service ordered a majority of its NGDV trucks to be gas-powered. 

It is worth noting that the USPS did update its original order of EV mail trucks to over 10,000. Of the 50,000 NGDVs on order, according to Inside EVs, that makes up about 20% of the contract. This allows the Postal Service to be more compliant with Biden’s order to make the US government fleets all-electric by 2035. 

Is the United States Postal Service getting new mail trucks?

In 2015, USPS announced that it was in search of a new mail truck. And now, those mail trucks are finally on the way. By February of 2021, the Postal Service had selected Oshkosh Defense to build its new delivery vehicle, known as the Next Generation Delivery Vehicle, or NGDV. According to MotorTrend, this truck will replace the aging and iconic Grumman LLV, which has been used by USPS since the late 1980s. 

A USPS mail truck sits in a local neighborhood.
Grumman LLV | IFCAR

The new Oshkosh NGDV will be built in Spartanburg, North Carolina, and the factory is set to employ over 1,000 local people. The design of the NGDV has been a major talking point, along with its powertrain, but this mail truck will offer modern features, like safety tech and more efficiency than the outgoing truck. As the United States Postal Service works on its supplement to its initial environmental impact study, maybe more NGDV trucks will come as EVs. Helping the Postal Service to enter the modern era.

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