Democratic Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts and nine other Democratic senators on Monday called on the Postal Service to set a long-term goal of making nearly 100% of its delivery vehicles electric to reduce the production of “dangerous” carbon emissions. However, the service previously found that it would cost over $2 billion more to buy electric vehicles (EVs) instead of upgrading its fleet with new gasoline-powered trucks.
The ten Senate Democrats told the Postal Service to use funding included in the Democrats’ climate spending bill to go beyond its previous target to make 40% of its vehicles electric and instead electrify “at least 95%” of its fleet, according to a letter. The Postal Service found that it would spend $11.6 billion over 20 years to electrify its entire fleet and $9.3 billion to purchase a small portion of EVs in addition to gas-powered vehicles, according to a February report.
“With Inflation Reduction Act funding, USPS should aim higher and strive for at least a 95 percent electric mail delivery fleet that will reduce dangerous greenhouse-gas emissions [and] help usher in an era of ubiquitous clean car technology,” the senators wrote.
In July, the Postal Service pledged to ramp up vehicle electrification efforts after 16 states, Washington, D.C., and four environmental groups filed lawsuits over the service’s previous plan to electrify 10% of its fleet, according to The Washington Post. The service had originally planned to upgrade its fleet by making 90% of its new vehicles gas-powered.
The Inflation Reduction Act, which President Joe Biden signed into law in August, allocates $3 billion to help the Postal Service buy more electric vehicles, giving $1.29 billion for the purchase of new electric delivery vehicles and $1.71 billion for the purchase and installation of related infrastructure. In March, the Postal Service spent $2.95 billion to purchase 50,000 new vehicles, 10,000 of which were electric.
During his first week in office, Biden vowed to make all post office vehicles as well as the entire federal fleet electric.
Democratic California Attorney General Rob Bonta and 15 other Democratic attorneys general demanded that the Postal Service stop purchasing gas-powered delivery vehicles as emissions produced by such trucks disproportionally hurt minority or low-income communities, according to an August letter.
The Postal Service did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.