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USPS EV Mail Trucks, Infrastructure Would Cost $3.3 Billion

A rendering of the USPS next generation vehicle delivering mail on a suburban street.

Imagine it’s electrical.Image: USPS

The United States Postal Service’s vehicles are in dire want of substitute, and the company has a plan to just do that. Last 12 months, it introduced its plans to maneuver ahead to purchase the mail truck of the future.

Late final week, it detailed these plans extra absolutely in an environmental impact statement, sussing out a number of completely different eventualities. One included transitioning all 165,000 of its every day workhorse fleet to electrical autos. But in the long run, the USPS determined that wasn’t its most well-liked choice, as a substitute saying it might like 10% of its new fleet to be electrical whereas the remaining 90% will run on inside combustion engines.

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There are challenges to the 100% EV choice, together with the place to put in charging infrastructure in city areas and having the vary for mail supply in rural areas. But the primary motive the USPS prefers the 90/10 break up is value. It known as the 100% electrical truck state of affairs its “preferred alternative,” however famous that it “is not achievable, absent additional funding.” The complete value to impress the fleet totally can be $11.6 billion, a $3.3 billion distinction from the 90/10 break up. To which I say, why has no one given the Postal Service this cash but?

You can in all probability discover the $3.3 billion sitting within the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s collective sofa cushions. Consider that the F-35, a $1.5 trillion boondoggle of a fighter jet that may’t even shoot straight. If the Department of Defense is admittedly critical about nationwide safety menace posed by local weather change, it should instantly cancel, I don’t know, one or two F-35 contracts and provides that cash to the USPS. Having 165,000 electrical autos quietly delivering mail would, based on the EIS, scale back greenhouse gasoline emissions by greater than 537,000 metric tons of direct tailpipe emissions alone. The USPS useful notes this may “be the most beneficial” state of affairs on that entrance, along with chopping air and noise air pollution. That would save lives and cash, notably in poor neighborhoods and communities of colour. Can the F-35 program say the identical?

But OK, I hear you. Canceling a number of Lockheed Martin contracts can be distinctly un-American. We love the military-industrial complicated! So then it have to be incumbent on Congress to get its act collectively. Specifically, the Build Back Better Act, which included roughly $6 billion for the USPS and electrification. A relative princely sum in comparison with what the company outlined in its EIS!

Yet the act was killed by Sen. Joe Manchin reside on Fox News late final 12 months. The senator from West Virginia has since stated that he might come to an settlement along with his fellow Democrats on local weather “much easier than anything else.” What higher strategy to show that he’s not a foul religion negotiator owned by particular pursuits than by voting for Build Back Better and guaranteeing the USPS has its further $3.3 billion to get that EV fleet buzzing? Manchin has spoken highly of the Postal Service, even urging bipartisan comity to repair delays. Maybe he may even peel off a number of Republicans to modernize mail supply.

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The pleasure of seeing these cute vehicles zipping round to ship mail to his constituents, freed from exhaust, must be incentive sufficient to get to sure. After all, West Virginia has the third-highest asthma rate of any state within the U.S. But as an act of goodwill, the USPS might even enable Manchin to call one among its new EVs, very similar to Michigan allowed the general public to do with its snowplows.

There are nonetheless different methods to get the USPS a number of further bucks. Consider Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s wealth tax legislation, which might tax the holdings with greater than $1 billion at 3%. Apply that to Jeff Bezos’ $177 billion fortune alone, and increase, $5.4 billion for candy, candy EVs. We can use the remainder of $2.1 billion to, I don’t know, plant some group gardens on put up workplace property.

All this may align with President Joe Biden’s govt order on electrifying the federal car fleet and throwing the load of presidency behind addressing the local weather disaster. In quick, there isn’t a motive to not give the USPS the cash to do that. Give them the additional $3.3 billion.

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