The Biden administration announced on Tuesday that the U.S. Postal Service will buy a mostly electric fleet of vehicles to replace its current trucks, The Washington Post reports.
The USPS plans to buy 60,000 “next generation delivery vehicles” from defense contractor Oshkosh.
About 45,000 of the vehicles are expected to be electric.
The agency will also buy 46,000 vehicles from mainstream automakers, 21,000 of which will be electric.
The USPS will spend $9.6 billion on the new fleet and infrastructure, including $3 billion from the Inflation Reduction Act.
The agency expects to buy exclusively zero-emission trucks by 2026.
“It’s wonderful that the Postal Service will be at the forefront of the switch to clean electric vehicles, with postal workers as their ambassadors,” John Podesta, White House senior adviser for clean energy innovation, told the Post. “It will get people thinking, ‘If the postal worker delivering our Christmas presents … is driving an EV, I can drive one, too.’”
The USPS’ previous plan only called to make about 10% of its fleet electric while the rest would be gas-powered trucks that get as little as 8.6 miles per gallon.
Podesta said he confronted Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, a Trump appointee, over the plan and reformed the plan in September.
“I told him that I thought the original plans were completely inadequate,” said Podesta. “I just think we thought it was critical to our success and the overall [climate change] program. So we stuck with it, pushed it, he pushed back, and we pushed back.”
Key Biden agenda item:
Electric vehicles are a major part of Biden’s agenda.
He ordered the federal government to buy exclusively zero-emissions vehicles by 2035.
Advocates hope that the move will lead to changes by private delivery firms.
Amazon has promised to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2040.
FedEx has committed to carbon-neutral operations by 2040 with plans to electrify its vehicles by 2030.
UPS plans to go carbon-neutral by 2050.