Connolly Applauds USPS Decision to Electrify Delivery Vehicle Fleet
Washington, December 20, 2022
Congressman Gerry Connolly (D-VA), Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Government Operations, released the following statement after President Biden and the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) announced it would purchase 66,000 electric vehicles (EVs) to replace its aging fleet of gas-powered delivery vehicles. The USPS investment includes electrifying 75% of its new purpose-built Next Generation Delivery Vehicles (NGDV), which matches the standard outlined in Connolly’s Green Postal Service Fleet Act, and a commitment to acquire 100% electric NGDVs starting in 2026.
This $9.6 billion investment includes $3 billion in funding from the Inflation Reduction Act, which Connolly worked to ensure was included in the final legislation.
“This announcement is a massive win for the Postal Service, for the American people, and for our climate,” said Connolly. “This decision puts the Postal Service on a path toward sustainability and enables it to reach its full 21st Century potential. I am grateful to President Biden and so many of my colleagues in Congress for working with me to ensure we never give up on the future of our beloved Postal Service.”
The Postal Service currently owns and operates one of the world’s largest civilian vehicle fleets, composed of more than 228,000 vehicles. Over 140,000 of these vehicles are decades old, average only ten miles per gallon, and have reached the end of their 24-year operational lifespan. Maintaining these aging vehicles comes at a high environmental and financial cost—the Postal Service spends $2 billion and over 30,000 hours per year on delivery vehicle maintenance, and in Fiscal Year 2019 fuel costs alone for these vehicles totaled $491 million. Many of these vehicles also pose risks to the frontline workers who drive them. They lack airbags and antilock brakes, and there have been numerous accounts of these vehicles catching fire.
In May 2021, Connolly joined Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) to lead 53 Members of Congress in writing to President Biden in support of his plan to acquire only “clean and zero-emission vehicles” for the entire federal fleet, including the Postal Service Fleet.
In February 2022, Connolly led his fellow leaders of the House Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition (SEEC) in sending a letter to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy expressing their opposition to USPS’s procurement plan that would have moved forward with the purchase of an almost-exclusively gas-powered fleet.
In March 2022, Connolly introduced the Green Postal Service Fleet Act to prohibit USPS from carrying out any purchase of a new fleet of delivery vehicles unless 75 percent of the new vehicles are electric or otherwise emissions-free. Connolly introduced the legislation after USPS finalized a contract with Oshkosh Defense for the purchase of a new, almost entirely gas-powered fleet of delivery vehicles, despite President Biden’s clear and stated goal of electrifying the federal fleet.
Also in March 2022, Connolly joined Chairwoman Maloney and Reps. Lynch, Lawrence, and Huffman to request that the Postal Service Office of Inspector General initiate an investigation into the Postal Service’s compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act, particularly the filing of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Next
Generation Delivery Vehicle (NGDV).