WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), Chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee and senior member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, along with Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), today led their colleagues in a letter to United States Post Office (USPS) Postmaster General, Louis DeJoy, pressing USPS to explain its financial analysis behind its plan to acquire a new delivery fleet comprised of predominantly gas-powered vehicles.
“USPS accounts for roughly one-third of the federal fleet and the actions that USPS takes will have a significant impact on whether the United States does its share to combat climate chaos,” wrote the lawmakers. “While investing in a minimum of 20 percent electric postal vehicles is an improvement, the USPS must do more. Not only does USPS’s current plan to invest in predominantly fossil fuel-powered vehicles endanger public health and the environment, the decision is also being made at a time when companies like Federal Express (FedEx) and United Parcel Service (UPS) are increasingly moving towards electric vehicles for economic reasons. We therefore ask that you further explain to us USPS’s decision.
“The USPS has repeatedly stated that its decision to replace the majority of its fleet with internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEVs) is based on an analysis of USPS’s existing financial condition and its determination that procuring ICEVs is more cost-effective than procuring EVs,” they continued. “Your statements about the costs of procuring ICEVs over EVs contradict recent reports on the cost-effectiveness of purchasing EVs, including one report that found USPS could save taxpayers $4.3 billion over the fleet’s lifetime by using 97 percent electric.”
Senator Carper has been a longtime champion of the Postal Service, and has continually pushed the USPS to electrify its new delivery fleet. Last year, Carper applauded USPS’s announcement to replace its outdated, dirty vehicle fleet. Several months later, Carper called on the Postal Service to invest in more electric vehicles than it had pledged. And just last month, Carper appealed directly to Postmaster General DeJoy in a letter urging the agency to reverse course and adopt a cleaner, more sustainable fleet for its next generation of delivery vehicles.
In their letter, the lawmakers request a response from USPS on the following items:
- The cost analysis that USPS used to determine the cost effectiveness of electric vehicles, including any assumptions made about the price of batteries, electricity, electric vehicle chargers, and gasoline;
- The current cost analysis that USPS will use to place purchase orders for vehicles under the Oshkosh contract and how that analysis differs from the cost analysis USPS used to award the contract;
- The cost schedule for the order from Oshkosh Defense to purchase 50,000 vehicles with a makeup of 80 percent ICEVs and 20 percent EVs;
- The estimated cost schedule for the order from Oshkosh Defense to purchase 50,000 vehicles if the makeup were a minimum of 70 percent EVs;
- An overview of how USPS utilized the expertise of the General Services Administration, Department of Energy, and/or the Environmental Protection Agency in the process of developing the Request For Proposal for the USPS Next Generation Delivery Vehicle with a focus on electrifying the fleet and engaged these agencies when developing the cost analysis, and cost schedule for the procurement of USPS ICEVs and EVs;
- Any barriers to transitioning to an EV fleet that exist for USPS that do not exist, or do not exist to the same degree, for USPS competitors who are currently purchasing EVs, including all cost factors and assumptions behind USPS’s claim that the amount of acceleration and deceleration for USPS trucks makes replacement and maintenance costs for ICEVs cheaper than EVs as well as whether USPS projects any benefits from regenerative breaking for USPS EVs; and
- USPS’s analysis of the risk of losing business from companies who are making greenhouse gas pledges if USPS’s greenhouse gas profile is higher than competitors and how that would impact USPS’s financial security.
In addition to Carper and Merkley, 17 other Democratic Senators signed onto the letter, including Senators Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), and Ben Cardin (D-Md.).