The Post Office Is Buying Gas-Powered Trucks, Despite Biden Climate Order

Feb 02, 2022 · 177 comments
Bradford McCormick (New York)
Mr. DeJoyless has got to go. He was Donald Trump's torpedo to sink the U.S. Postal Service, and he's still at it. He enJoys wrecking the institution he runs. He is a fox in the hen house. And, like Mr. Trump himself, he smirks at how stupid everybody is to keep letting him keep getting away with it. Mr deJoyless is Mr. Trump's mole in the USPS. He is a Trump toadie. He will not be satisfied until he works himself out of his job: by completely destroying the United States Postal Service. He will finally have rest throne atop a mountain of mail that will never be delivered. King Louis DeJoyless, King of the cancelled Postal Service. Return him to sender!
Lois (NYC)
"In November, Mr. Biden nominated two new members, Dan Tangherlini, a Democrat and former head of the General Services Administration, and Derek Kan, a Republican and former deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget. If confirmed by the Senate, they would replace two departing members whose terms are expiring and who have been allies of Mr. DeJoy." Call your senators today and tell them to prioritize confirmation of the new USPS board nominees.
Babel (new Jersey)
How weird our laws are. Most of us probably thought once Biden was in Mr DeJoy's days were over. Yet, here he is still tormenting our country with this now pro oil anti climate decision. This has all be set up so Trump's corporate buddies could privatize the postal service and loot another government agency. Mr Dejoy has his corrupt fingers into everything and he is grinning like the Cheshire Cat. Political appointees are the curse of this country.
RAWarren (SF CA)
Not surprising given that he was appointed by Trump. Both have pugnacious, sociopathic styles, and revel in taking decisions that are counter to best-practices, -knowledge & -progress. Trump quit the Paris Agreement that had no actual requirements beyond trying to hit goals, quit the Iran Nuclear Deal even though we'd break our word to allies and adversaries, dissed the DREAMers (young, educated, motivated, tax-paying folks, raised in the US), so buying gasoline vehicles just fits right in. I hope it will not stand.
John (OR)
The USPS is a bit like DC in terms of governance and the undue burden of too many Congressional hands in the kitchen trying to figure out why a spatula doesn't work good as a ladle.
AndyW (Chicago)
This pollution belching contract is only the latest evidence. DeJoy has repeatedly proven himself a wholly inept business executive and supremely political schemer. He is a blatant Trump shill, who is in far over his head at the gargantuan and complex Post Office. Prices up, service down, morale non-existent. Postal employees, the public and the spirit of Ben Franklin deserve and demand his immediate removal.
@AndyW oh yeah Andy right on....who cares if the technology is right for the application lets just scream and yell to get EV's whether they are good for the mail or not. Nothing in this tells me WHY they are better and im guessing its because they aren't based on the facts. BTW whether you think it works or not USPS is a backbone infrastructure to a great number of people. Despite itself it works very well
running believer (Chicago)
@AndyW Not inept. He is a criminal who owns stock in private mail companies and is taking tax money to make them more successful. Take the lead here, Mr. President. Is he trying to compromise you?
Kput (Chicago)
@BM Right for the application? The goal of delivering the mail is not the only concern here. If we only cared about getting from point a to b, climate crises could be ignored until they make that impossible. Should we wait until then?
lou (Georgia)
Why is there not a peep about the huge stock buy just before the contract? If no one is investigating this, I want to know why. If this is DeJoy, as is suspected, he belongs in jail. Reporter, do your job. Don't leave out the most important part of this story.
Wm Nelson (Atlanta)
So have the purchases been stopped?
Brandon (Dallas)
@Wm Nelson Nope, because congress (a democrat majority congress) did not object to this contract when they would of been able to in 2019. This shouldn't even be a news story as we are talking about 165,000 vehicles over 10 years. Ford sells 600k to 800k of F-150s a year, for the environment the post office contract is a drop in the ocean. The reason its a news story is because democrats are looking to burnish their "green credentials" in an election year, and this is the only opportunity they have since Senator Manchin killed the climate change part of the parties agenda when he killed Build Back Better.
DTM (Out in the World)
Why is Louis DeJoy still working in this position? He surely should have been shown the door the minute Joe Biden took office. He is a hold over from that terrible era in the U.S. and needs to go. Enough already.
Brandon (Dallas)
@DTM Once the postmaster geneal is appointed, the USPS board is the only one who can oust him before his term. And so far the board is siding with him.
Alden (Camden , ME)
I was a little disappointed to see the continued use of gasoline powered Postal Service vehicles. The introduction of electrically powered vehicles is an admirable goal, but certainly has it's own issues, as in grid capability and generation capacity. Noth America's access to home grown natural gas would seem to be a logical fuel choice. It has been touted as a transitional fuel with fewer emissions. The technology is already out there. My little standby generator is actually tri-fuel: gasoline, propane, or natural gas. After market kits have been around for decades. Industrial size generators are available powered by methane(the major component of natural gas) emissions from waste water treatment plants, methane capture at landfills, digester systems at farms and pumping stations for natural gas pipelines. Some ships now have dual fuel engines: Liquid natural gas together with diesel technologies. Urban areas could benefit from natural gas powered delivery fleets. Refueling can be at home base right from already existing gas mains which most cities have. Just a thought.
James Jordan (Falls Church,Va)
Thank you for this report. The Post Office Board and executives and executives of Oshkosh Defense must be aware of the need to electrify the global transport system to mitigate the threat posed by global warming/climate change. I agree with Chairman Connolly: this is a serious negative mark on their record of competency. There are plenty of manufacturers available to replace these executives. The executive teams at USPO and Oshkosh Defense obviously have not taken note of President Biden's commitment to action on global warming. He won by 8 million votes. President Biden's strategy to electrify transportation is a great one. Accordingly, our team has been busy responding to the questions, Mr. Biden proposed to the Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) with a proposal to build a very energy efficient no emissions Maglev transport system that carries both passengers and vans and trucks. We would be delighted to add a van design and manufacturing to our proposal. "How can breakthroughs in science and technology create powerful new solutions to address climate change—propelling market-driven change, jump-starting economic growth, improving health, and growing jobs, especially in communities that have been left behind?" "How can the United States ensure that it is the world leader in the technologies and industries of the future that will be critical to our economic prosperity and national security, especially in competition with China?"
Brandon (Dallas)
@James Jordan Biden is the president, but the USPS is quasi-governmental agency and congresses charter for them says that they are not supposed to take current political priorities of whichever party is in charge into account when making their decisions.
Brynie (NYC)
I wonder sometimes why I continue to defend the public sector. It has become an internal struggle.
Jim D (Florida)
Greta Thunberg's, "How dare you!" fits this travesty perfectly. It's another reminder that the endless parade of republican hacks is an environmental nightmare, and that the climate provisions of Biden's program urgently need to be passed, even if concessions need to be made on the rest of the bill.
Brandon (Dallas)
@Jim D The problem is that BBB bill is dead and not coming back thanks to Manchin. The most popular parts of it may be pass individually, the problem there is that the climate change part never polled well anywhere outside of the west coast and new england. It was only in 2018 that the percentage of americans nationwide who belived climate change was real and an issue passed 50%, however only 28% of americans nationwide where willing to pay more or approve of the government spending more to fix the climate change issues. Minds are changing, but at current rates, you won't be able to get a major climate bill through till the end of the decade.
Newfie (Newfoundland)
Do people not realize that oil production is peaking and will enter terminal decline ? Peak oil. Look it up.
Brandon (Dallas)
@Newfie Also, look up the number of times "peak oil" has been predicted, basically every decade since the 70's the problem is that all peak oil predictions are made based on current reserves and there are always new reserves to find for the foreseeable future. In the 60's peak oil was first predicted for the mid-1970's, then oil was found in the north sea and norway, and the experts then said the mid-80s, then in the mid-80s deep sea gulf of mexico was found, and then the experts said mid-90s, then modern fracking gave us access to huge amounts in the shale rock in TX, OK, and ND. So the experts moved the date again to 2005, but then the Canadians started mass production from the oil sands in Alberta and the experts had to delay the date again, and if the pipeline news out of Africa is accurate, eastern africa will be a major exporter in a few years time, and once again the experts will move the "peak oil" date.
CastleMan (Colorado)
If this, on top of Mr. DeJoy's overt partisan manipulation of the Postal Service in service of Donald Trump' reelection campaign, is not reason to fire him, then nothing is. Congress must nullify any contract the USPS signs for gas-powered postal vehicles. To do less will be to lock in millions of tons of avoidable greenhouse gas emissions and make a mockery of this country's already flimsy commitment to doing anything about the climate crisis.
Brandon (Dallas)
@CastleMan As the USPS is quasi-governmental, congress can't cancel the contract. They could of stopped it from being signed if they had spoken up then (2019), but they didn't, a democrat controlled congress didn't challenge it other than demanding the trucks be made in a new plant in a economically depressed area.
BayArea101 (Midwest)
There's no mention of the costs of what DeJoy has ordered (90% gas, 10% EV) versus what a 100%-electric fleet would cost. Also, it would be useful to know the dates by which the Post Office needs to have these new vehicles and the vehicles' availability. For example, is there a difference between when the gas-powered vehicles and the EVs can be delivered, and how does that map to the Post Office's needs for new vehicles?
grace thorsen (syosset, ny)
There is not one environmental issue that the GOP cares about. Who can possibly vote Republican? They have no conscience, no morals, no respect for law or for anyone other than themselves.
Brandon (Dallas)
@grace thorsen It was a democrat controlled congress that didn't challenge the vehicle order in 2019, when they had the chance too.
Barbara (Coastal SC)
Too bad that Biden can't fire DeJoy. DeJoy has not been good for the postal service. Mail is much slower, equipment has disappeared, and now he ignores the importance of climate change as he refurbishes the fleet. One can only hope that the board of the USPS will weigh in and insist on electric vehicles.
JR (Oregon)
Did none of the people writing comments here understand the fact that President Biden CAN NOT fire DeJoy? The post office is independent. Read the article. The postal board of governors has to do that. They are appointed. Of course DeJoy should go, Just another Trump lackey. DeJoy seems determined to shut down the postal service, wonder if that has anything to do with vote by mail????
BIV (San Diego)
GET RID OF THIS GUY ALREADY!!!! Our taxes are going to pay the government salary of this corrupt millionaire. He does not belong in government service. He is serving his own agenda.
Tom Mcinerney (L.I.)
An acquaintance is nearing retirement at USPS; he is generally supportive of DeJoy. He said that volume has declined to such an extent, that disposing of many sorting machines was justified. ................... USPS could buy a modern IC powertrain, and retrofit the vintage Grumman vehicles with accompanying wire harness and ignition & emission computers. These would be cheaper and more efficient than entire new vehicles. The same may be true of retrofitting the old Grumman delivery vans with EV powertrains: General Motors Announces EV Component Sales Strategy BY SAM MCEACHERN— DEC 22, 2021 General Motors has laid out plans to begin offering electric vehicle component sets ... , which it says will help “meet the growing demand for zero-emissions technology,” in industries including aviation, automotive, marine and construction. * * Additionally, the automaker announced a strategic collaboration with Textron Ground Support Equipment Inc. this week, which will see it provide EV components to the company to electrify its various products, which include airport baggage tractors, cargo tractors and belt loaders, among more. * * The Chevrolet Performance e-crate powertrains allow customers to purchase a turnkey electric powertrain from GM for installation in a classic car or another project car. * *
Charles (Los Angeles)
@Tom Mcinerney Good idea from a Republican. Spend more than a new vehicle would cost keeping a 30 year old on on the road.
Curtis M (West Coast)
If the situation was reversed and it was Trump who was President with an insubordinate Postmaster General, you can be sure that Trump would fire the noncompliant employee, with or without Board of Governors approval and take it to court when the blowback starts. We're in a new era, it is inappropriate for President Joe Biden to sit back and do nothing while DeJoy destroys the US Postal Service.
Thomas (New York)
Will no one rid us of this meddlesome postman? "The E.P.A. estimated the climate damages that would be caused by the new fleet at $900 million." They might add "in addition to hastening the collapse of civilization." DeJoy seems determined to do as much damage, and give as much help to the fossil-fuel industry, as he can before the administration manages to get rid of him.
steve schaffer (oakland, CA)
Isn't this dejoy fellow a trumpie appointee? Why calls for his resignation - can't the president of the world's most powerful nation fire him?
Stupa Plinth (Denver, CO)
Reading these comments, it's clear people are not comprehending the article. Biden cannot fire DeJoy, a board of governors appointed by Trump and who are Trump/DeJoy loyalists can remove DeJoy. Biden has his appointments in the wings waiting for Senate approval. One is a Republican, one is a Democrat. There are two Trump/DeJoy loyalists whose terms are up. Biden has done what he has authority to do. I'm just repeating facts in the article....
barbara (santa cruz ca)
@Stupa Plinth why is he appointing a republican to the board. i doubt any republican president has appointed a democrat to the board
Brandon (Dallas)
@barbara The USPS charter says the board has to be evenly distributed between democrat and republican, giving neither party power over the postal service.
TarsanStripes (Tullahoma TN)
My TN rural county is serviced by 11 different ZIP codes all but 1 are located in surrounding counties. The ones serviced by the USPS are the 738 folks who live in the county seat. My mail carrier drives her own car to deliver the mail and is actually from another county, There are no charging stations in my county. De Joy must think that everywhere is like Washington DC. And still takes 10 days for my water bill to go 8 miles! He has ruined the USPS!
Casey (Upstate NY)
Dejoy's plan from the beginning has been to destroy the USPS and take its remnants private. His stated goal is to make the service operate at a profit --- or at least break even. He aims to accomplish this by completely ignoring the wishes of its customers, the American people. He can do this because he is running the ideal business: the customers can't leave because there is no alternative. In the end, he will leave a pile of ashes that was the first and finest institution in America.
Robert Steiner (Pleasant Hill, CA)
Six days a week I hear a postal van chugging up our hill and stopping at my mailbox. The driver typically shuts off the engine before getting out, then restarts it before continuing to the next house up the street. The absurdity of this is painful. I've thought for years that postal vehicles should be electric-powered. The purchase of gas-powered vehicles is simply more evidence that America is the most backward of the "advanced" nations. It's heartbreaking.
John (OR)
@Robert Steiner Why isn't there neighborhood/community mailbox at the bottom of the hill?
larrybay (Los Altos CA)
Biden's problem on this issue is discussed at the end of the article: the Postmaster General is appointed by a board of 9 governors. A majority of 5 of these are Trump Republican appointees, and cannot be replaced by Biden until their terms expire. Two of these, however, have terms that will expire soon. Only then can Biden appoint two new governors that will then shift the majority to those who will likely support electric vehicle procurement.
Henry (Woodstock, NY)
What ever happened to the idea of making junk mail senders pay regular rates? Why doesn't all mail have the same rate schedule? Finally, why wasn't Mr. DeJoy's environmental analysis published for public review before it was acted on?
Brandon (Dallas)
@Henry Because the USPS is quasi-governmental and therfore does not have to publically publish its analysis like most government departments have to.
michaelscody (Niagara Falls NY)
First, how much would the electric trucks cost compared to the internal combustion ones? Second, is the Federal government prepared to subsidize the cost difference? For an agency that is $206.4 billion dollars in debt to consider anything but the most economical vehicle purchase is foolish unless those pushing the more expensive solution will put their money where their mouth is.
Not Optimistic (Far West)
@michaelscody-do you understand why the USPS is indebted? No other company/institute has ever had to fund retirement for 20 years in the future? If you don’t think that our futuristic going to be compromised by the continued use of gasoline you are not being honest. The costs might not be paid by you but the children of our country are going to be forced to pay this debt millions of times over. Enough already, it’s time to pay our bills, we are legally obligated to ensure a livable future.
michaelscody (Niagara Falls NY)
@Not Optimistic I do not totally disagree. However, the people who are calling for the more expensive option should be the ones to fund it; let Mr. Biden take money from some other program or get Congress to pass additional spending in order to satisfy his call for electric vehicles.
Brandon (Dallas)
@michaelscody According to the 2018 analysis, it would cost about 20k more per vehicle to make it electric, a democrat controlled congress approved the money to make 10% of the fleet electric in 2019, the democrats had a chance to up the percentage then and choose not too. As a matter of fact they were quite proud of the 10% in 2019, I believe Speaker Pelosi even gave a speech about it at the time.
larrybay (Los Altos CA)
@RT: The postmaster is appointed by a board of governors. The president can only lobby for his removal, as I believe is stated in the article. You can read about this at the end of the article.
Sean (Cincinnati OH)
So how many of you can go out and buy a $35k EV outright (and that's minimum for a Chevy Bolt) and stay within your budgets? Sure, the PO will get a break for buying in volume but it will still be more than an IC engine vehicle. Congress has refused to increase the PO's budget numerous times, and when DeJoy has proposed cuts to work within the budget congress squeals to "not cut delivery and post offices in my district". I am no fan of Trump, but you all are making DeJoy a scapegoat to an impossible situation.
Tino Volpe (Wrentham Ma)
@Sean I don't know. I see a lot of people out there driving 50K+ luxury cars and massive gas guzzling pick up trucks in the same price range. 35K for a car seems a bargain right now.
Andy (WI)
@Sean The current contract for $11.3 billion to buy 165k vehicles averages out to about $68,400 per vehicle, and is estimated to get a lousy 9MPG. Less than the 30 year old vehicles that need replacing. A Ford transit costs $40,000 'without' a massive buying deal and gets an estimated 15MPG of city driving. Plus can be maintained at basically any repair shop in the county with easy to get parts and is made in Missouri. $68,400 -$40,000 = $28,400 'difference x 165,000 'vehicles on order = $4,686,000,000 Billion saved on the vehicle purchase alone Without the almost %40 saving on fuel cost for the next 3 decades.
CGM (Tuxedo,New York)
@Andy Better yet buy the electric Ford Transit for ~$8000 more. Yes range is short (~120 miles) but most Postal vehicles do not need more daily range than that. Those that do can be purchased as gasoline models.
Scientist (CA)
1. Fire De Joy 2. Reduce mail delivery to every other day for all residential addresses: M-W-F or T-Th-Sat. Half the miles and workforce for essentially the same result! 3. Every new vehicle should be electric or hybrid, with gradual replacement. Consider bikes too, especially in climates like CA. Europe does a lot of mail delivery by bike, so don't say it's not possible.
Tino Volpe (Wrentham Ma)
@Scientist If you reduce delivery to three days a week that's only three trips to the recycle bin for me because that's literally all I get in the mail, junk.
Tino Volpe (Wrentham Ma)
@Scientist If you reduce delivery to three days a week that's only three trips to the recycle bin for me because that's literally all I get in the mail, junk.
Alan (Rochester)
@Scientist I have been thinking along those lines as well. For those businesses who need mail daily, they can rent a PO Box and pick up their mail at the post office. Many larger businesses already do so. In college I worked summers in the mail room and drove to PO daily.
larrybay (Los Altos CA)
@BB: This fleet is probably the clearest example of how carbon energy consumption can be reduced: a) it's stop and go so the deceleration regeneration of battery energy is very productive; b) the number of miles driven is not large so recharging can be part daytime solar and part nighttime from the grid. The latter, if provided by fossil fuels, will use sources of much higher efficiency than the gasoline engines can provide. And of course it can also be provided from hydroelectric or wind generation.
Forrest Chisman (Stevensvile, MD)
What on earth is WRONG with Biden? Why is De Joy still Postmaster General. Removing him would be one of the most politically popular moves Biden could make. Everyone in America hates him.
Henry (Woodstock, NY)
@Forrest Chisman Biden can't fire DeJoy because he doesn't have the authority to do so. The Postal Service is an independent agency.
Thomas (New York)
@Forrest Chisman Read the article.
J.J. (Pacifica)
@Forrest Chisman Biden can’t remove him; it is the 9-member board of governors that can remove him.
Michelle (Detroit)
Really what is so hard about this Joe Biden? Fire DeJoy now, what are you waiting on?
Brandon (Dallas)
@Michelle Under the law the president does not have the power to fire the postmaster general, only the USPS board can do that. That board is appointed (as members terms expire) with an equal number of dems and gop members as laid out in the postal service charter. The problem is several of the dems on the board also support him.
running believer (Chicago)
Ridiculous! Why is No Joy still working there, Biden?! Don't be a wuss! Get him off the job even it it entails legal jeopardy. He has caused unnecessary damage in the past year!
Where do they think the electricity to power the EV's comes from?????
george (new york)
@BB And where do they think the materials for the batteries come from, and where do they go at EOL?
Thomas (New York)
@BB Some of it comes from wind, hydroelectric plants and solar arrays, and some from fossil-fuel-burning plants that are much more efficient than internal-combustion engines.
One thing you have to admire about Donald Trump is that he actually did the things, or at least tried to do the things, that he told his supporters he'd do. He even did some things he hadn't promised, but he knew they'd like, like appointing an oil industry lobbyist to sabotage the EPA. Biden, in stark contrast, promises a no-brainer move - buying EVs for a government fleet - and then leaves a Trump lackey in charge and lets him make an unprecedented purchase of fossil fuel burners from a military contractor. C'mon Joe. Do you know what the word "leader" means?
Henry (Woodstock, NY)
@RT Biden can't fire DeJoy because he doesn't have the authority to do so. The Postal Service is an independent agency.
Thomas (New York)
@RT He can't fire DeJoy. Read the article.
Jo (Canada)
When are they going to oust DeJoy? He's one of the most corrupt public officials ever. What's the excuse for keeping him?
rolfneu (USA)
It's past time for Biden replace the Board if Governors of USPS and finally fire DeJoy. USPS is included in our Constitution to serve the public. Postage should cover expenses but if not adequate, Congress should cover shortfall till rates can be increased. It was a monumental mistake to remove the postal service as a federal government department and create this quasi-government entity. The sad truth is that the postal service has declined dramatically since DeJoy was appointed by Trump. Hours have been cut back, fewer mailboxes and longer delivery times.
AWENSHOK (Houston)
Let me make an offer to the USPS I hope cannot be refused. If you will purchase EVs instead of gasoline powered, my carrier can come by DAILY to recharge HER vehicle at my residence. I seriously doubt that I'll be the only one who will make this offer.
Not Optimistic (Far West)
This is the lowest of the low fruit that this administration has had within its reach, and yet, here we are buying planet killing cars with a contract written by a man who has no business being in government. They have known about this for months, perhaps years and still they let it go… When are the Democrats gonna get serious?
Thomas (New York)
@Not Optimistic Biden can't fire DeJoy. Read the article.
Cesareoff (Miami)
We are running out of time with the climate crisis. As I recall, Tesla was helped along with huge gov subsidies. Now is the time to help our major automakers to make the switch to electric cars. The only entity that can accomplish this task is the Fed, gov. Get rid of DeJoy now!!
SystemIsBroken (Seattle)
Factor in fuel and maintenance and the EVs are cheaper in the long run.
Ramon (Santa Fe, NM)
Ford seems to have a few Electric Transit van models that would work. Why do they need a custom vehicle?
running believer (Chicago)
@Ramon Some USPS vehicles had the driver's instruments on the left side.
Hardbull (Los Angeles)
Is Louis DeJoy as arrogant as he seems, or just clueless? Either way, his exit is long overdue.
Jo (Canada)
@Hardbull - He is corrupt to the core.
krw (Chicago metro)
Why aren't hydrogen powered vehicles being considered? The tailpipes of these vehicles emit water and heat. They take as much time to fill up as a gasoline powered vehicles. Granted, more work needs to be done in producing hydrogen in ways that are not overly energy intensive, but why aren't we moving in this direction? EVs that get their electricity from coal aren't a step forward, but more of the same. Years ago, in the aughts, I saw buses and cabs in Santiago, Chile, and wondered why we weren't moving in this direction. According to the EPA, transit buses in Boston and Flint are hydrogen powered.
Pam (Maine)
Fire this inadequate administrator dejoy and move on. I know there is some board overseeing him but come-on, this man is a disaster to the USPS.
Yojimbo (Oakland)
I used to be a Fleet Manager for USPS, responsible for over 3,000 vehicles. I had a special pride and interest in USPS's declared environmental leadership in the 90's. Our fleet helped spur development of oil and antifreeze recycling and Natural gas powered vehicles. While such a large agency serving such a geographically diverse nation has inherent difficulties changing with the times, let alone implementing any cutting-edge technology, EV's are now proven technology that need only be scaled up and tailored to local conditions. Thinking of maintenance costs alone, EV's are perfect for 90% of postal vehicle use. Because of the stop and go driving, we used to run through starters and transmissions like water. Engines rarely heated up to the point that they were operating at top efficiency. I hate to think of the mechanics that will experience reductions in force, but they can find other jobs within USPS if they want to stay. In the 90's it was clear to most managers that USPS was not adapting well to the obvious future of electronic bill-paying and package delivery. The agency has suffered greatly ever since. Today DeJoy seems bent on completing the ruination of USPS. Get rid of him ASAP. USPS is still needed today as much as it was when Ben Franklin saw its special role in knitting together our widely dispersed nation. Rebuild it on a base of electric vehicles. Start now with forward-looking management.
northlander (Michigan)
So Musk is better than DeJoy?
Tom (Calgary)
He knows the charging stations are not there to support the electric trucks. And they probably will never be there. Biden's fairy tale wish doesn't come true because he snaps his fingers. This is hard for the entitled to bear, but suck it up.
billionairescosttoomuch (red end of ny)
@Tom I don't think any of he local delivery routes are 250 miles long.
barbara (santa cruz ca)
@billionairescosttoomuch charging can be put in at the delivery station as the cars sit there overnight. the battery powered scanners are recharged overnight why not the cars?
U.N. Owen (NYC)
If this gentlemen, Mr DeJoy is so out of touch with what's BEEN going on, and will only continue to get (much) worse, it would be a crime if he were not to (either) lose good job, or resign. The only reason someone could make such an obviously abysmal decision is he must be getting favors drum this contractor. I don't like what's happened today to society as a whole, with is instant knee-jerk 'social (in)justice', where people's lives are ruined due to saying/doing something a small percentage finds terrible, but this governmental position wields much power with little oversight, and he must be removed - and this idiocy of his aborted before it's too late (and no golden parachute').
Jo (Canada)
@U.N. Owen - Gentleman?
Patrick Doanldson (Chicago area)
We should remind ourselves that the USPS is currently designed to be self supporting with no additional federal funding. Secondly the article doesn't discuss the life cycle costs of the battery and traditional fuel options in deciding what vehicles to purchase. The current units are about 30 years old; can an electric vehicle match the performance needed and at what cost when compared to a gas one? The USPS should NOT be a "showcase", it should choose the correct vehicle based upon need, performance and lifetime cost.
Peter (Denver)
Are the vehicle suppliers there yet? There are startups, but not production. Amazon is planning to purchase even more similar vehicles.
Beth (Texas)
Obviously the best scenario lies somewhere in between. But PO leadership has to do a better job. Having had some large fleet experience, I can tell you that fuel costs are most likely the most volatile expense of the whole operation. They should have been motivated by now to find hybrid solutions. I live in an urban area, 2 blocks from a large postal station. I receive my mail delivered to my home everyday except Sunday and holidays. Daily delivery to my home seems like a great extravagance at this point. I would be okay with a limited home delivery option with a drive by option to pick up my mail from the station if I wanted or needed greater frequency. The service needs to be different for rural areas, who totally rely on the USPO. Perhaps they could get better service out of such a reconfiguration. Meanwhile, our neighborhood streets are getting damaged and overloaded with daily multiple deliveries by Amazon, FedEx, UPS. We are so spoiled. We are going in the wrong direction.
Dr D (Salt Lake City)
Claiming that fossil fuel powered vehicles will be cheaper to own and operate is completely asinine. Most of these vehicles drive a relatively short route that is just start and stop. Even with normal driving that includes some 70+ mph freeway driving, my electric car costs me about 2.5 cents a mile to drive (4.3 miles/kilo Watt hour and 11 cents/kilo Watt hour). Also, the postal vehicles have all night to charge so no time is lost charging.
Ruben (Earth)
“For that reason, given our current financial condition, the total cost of ownership of our delivery vehicle fleet must be a part of our analysis.” Can we see this analysis please? I follow the auto industry and there has been plenty of analysis on cost of ownership between electric and internal combustion very clearly showing electric on top. Everything about the electric platform makes sense for a delivery vehicle.
Marge Keller (Midwest)
"The Post Office Is Buying Gas-Powered Trucks" As if that will have ANY impact on us receiving U.S. mail on a regular and consistent basis. In the neighborhood where I live, we are lucky to get ANY mail, much less 1st Class mail more than twice a week. And this has been going on for almost two years now . . .
Isabel (Guilderland, NY)
Do we know what the experience of UPS, FedEx, and the other carriers is with these electric delivery trucks? DeJoy's first mandate is to keep the Postal Service solvent and running, so they must have done some comparison shopping. Have they disclosed their researches? Electric vehicles dependence on lithium is also a cause for concern to me. I wonder, is natural gas no longer considered as fuel for vehicles? It used to be popular in Europe a few years back. We seem to have plenty of that, even though the environmental costs of fracking are possibly worse than oil wells.
Isabel (Guilderland, NY)
I too bought a new gas powered vehicle. The electric is not ready for long slogs in the snowy northeast, and much too expensive to boot. My Pilot is 16 years old and going strong; I had to throw away a Prius after 10 years because the battery was impossibly expensive to replace.
me (here)
@Isabel Postal delivery vehicles don't go on "long slogs." They have short routes with a lot of starts and stops. Perfect for EVs.
Miss Anne Thrope (Utah)
@Isabel - "The electric is not ready for long slogs…" The length of the average US vehicle is roughly 10 miles.
David C. Clarke (04107)
The important thing about using new technology is to know when it has reached a maturity level where it is entirely superior to what has come before. Electric trucks are not there yet. Hopefully they will be there in 4 to 6 years when the current gas powered trucks need to be replaced. Going to electric too early is worse than keeping the gas trucks a bit longer.
Janis (Democrat, Wisconsin)
Times investigators: Anyone looking into a certain Senator from Oshkosh, WI and wondering if he has anything to do with purchasing gas vs. electric vehicles?
Maybe they know more than we do. Technology's often times don't fit the application.
camilia (san francisco)
Why is DeJoy still running the US Post Office?
Martin (Budapest)
Why is it so hard to get rid of DeJoy? Everything he does is against common sense and degrades the postal service.
Max (Downeast Maine)
I posted a comment about 1.5 yrs ago here. DeJoy, is replacing tons of their vehicles with Mercedes-Benz Diesel vans! He needs to be gone ASAP! Nevermind Diesel, it's not even an American vehicle, what a traitor. The Post Office is OURS, and the majority of us want him GONE.
David C. Clarke (04107)
@Max - I can't say for sure, but I believe Mercedes makes lots of trucks right here in South Carolina.
Hunter (NJ)
@Max correction, The USPS badged MB Transit Vans are not diesel.
Clint (Pleasanton, CA)
This is a disgrace. USPS should be leading the way not dragging us back toward big oil.
Tom (Calgary)
@Clint lol Oil has not left the world, despite Greta' nonsense.s
Kristine (Arizona)
Why on earth would he do this? A direct assault on the President of the United States?! Time for him to go!
Joe (Arizona)
@Kristine I would agree with you if we had a President. Unfortunately, Mr. Biden is acting more like a follower (of his handlers).
han (NoCA)
If you are one of the unfortunate investors who own(ed) stock in Workhorse expecting the contract for a fleet of electric USPS trucks was all but signed, you can blame your losses on one word: Trump. This once $43 stock is currently $3. These stop-and-go 25MPH sloths that drop off mail are perfectly suited for electric vehicles. Anyone who drives an ICE vehicle knows that city mileage is much worse than highway mileage. It was a no-brainer, a slam dunk, a lay-up. But DeJoy, a Trump crony, has tens of millions of dollars invested in companies that work with the USPS. Must be nice to be able to predict the outcome when you’re the one determining the outcome. So dirty.
Randy (Florida')
@han - " Must be nice to be able to predict the outcome when you’re the one determining the outcome. " Kind of like senators trading in stocks of companies that are before them seeking legislative relief- such as Nancy Pelosi?
RKD (Park Slope, NY)
DeJoy probably owns stock in the company. If ever someone were mis-named, it is DeJoy.
Question Everything (Highland NY)
Fire DeJoy. He was a horrible choice by the former guy, who himself was horrible, and DeJoy has NOT "turned around" the USPS as he promised he could.
Rick Malone (New Mexico)
My question is how can one of these electric delivery trucks do a “stop and go” 8 hour shift? Tesla’s have to recharge every 3 or so hours at highway speeds. I’ve read about regenerative braking charge, but it doesn’t seem that productive. If these trucks can work an 8 hour shift, a great message will be sent to the American consumer confirming the future of electric vehicles (which are still a novelty).
interested party (nys)
Postmaster General Louis DeJoy is a bomb fashioned by a rogue president that goes off with sickening regularity. He is obviously enjoying the fact that he has the power to sabotage the Biden administration climate initiatives. How long will it take to purge the destructive Trump/republican plants in our government? How many Democratic administrations will be held hostage by these extremely disruptive actors?
Bluestar (Arizona)
Could we have a dispassionate analysis of what is best? (first, OK, DeJoy should get out of the way, he has lost all credibility): - what practical experience do we have with electric trucks in the Post Office fleet? - how is their electricity going to be produced? How do we anticipate CO2 emissions will compare to gas powered trucks when the electricity is from dams, nuclear or coal? - what is the electric truck autonomy, will routes need to be adapted? - maybe a short-distance, multistop, polluted city setting justifies electric, maybe a rural setting justifies gas - new gas-powered trucks will undoubtedly be, or at least should be, more efficient, getting better mileage and emitting few pollutants -- have the new gas trucks been chosen with strict environmental considerations?
alangorkin (ct)
@Bluestar well said. Just the fact alone that the article states there is a 600 billion dollar bill stalled in congress which includes funding for electric vehicles and charging stations makes me uneasy that the post office is not ready to comply. I would love to see them go electric but they are already 200 million in debt. They need to re examine this.
Mike (AR)
@Bluestar Good points. I would also add what would the cost be to add enough power charging infrastructure to thousands of post office sites? This is above and beyond the charging infrastructure planned in the current bill. While that post office infrastructure may be a good long term investment, it would be a huge impact to the cost model decision.
Miss Anne Thrope (Utah)
@alangorkin - The USPS is "200 million in debt". Another gift to our nation from Chickenhawk George Bush.
Les (Bethesda)
"The E.P.A. estimated the climate damages that would be caused by the new fleet at $900 million." This is important and likely valid, but it is key to remember that as climate policy is currently structured - the USPS does not ever have to pay for this - it is an externality. These costs, which vehicle owners do not have to pay, are a subsidy for fossil fuel vehicles. I fully support electrification of vehicles and own a plug in hybrid myself - it is awesome. But we need to be honest that it costs money to pay for these externalities.
RCP (Texas)
Well, the Postmaster wants the mail delivered; he wants the trucks to have a dependable fuel source.
Marie (Rising Sun, IN)
@RCP Hmm he didn't want the mail delivered when Trump was running for reelection...
nymuseum (New York USA)
How much of these electric vehicles of all types being mandated by Federal and State governments are from non-USA sources especially guess where? Have we, the USA, already purchased the foreign made economic rope with which we are hanging ourselves?
Rob F (Staten Island, NY)
@nymuseum I think it's wise to consider that polluting the air we breathe is a rope with which we are literally, as well as economically, choking ourselves to death with. And it's no longer viable to simply "buy American"...I'm old enough to remember when foreign cars were a rarity, and foreign trucks and construction equipment almost never seen, but not longer sice the market has changed and we now live in a much, much different world economy.
Joe (Arizona)
@Rob F "I think it's wise to consider that polluting the air we breathe is a rope with which we are literally, as well as economically, choking ourselves to death with. " Does the drama ever end? Probably not.
nymuseum (New York USA)
@Rob F A basis of my comment is that we are in actuality reliant on non-USA sourced materials and produced items. As to pollution, well are we not purchasing from places that are the major pollution centers of the planet? Let us not pat ourselves on our backs and loudly proclaim to ourselves that we environmentally the best whilst we finance the hegemony of the CCCCP of China. BTW I do remember a slice being $0.15 as was a subway ride. I do also admit the enjoyment of riding the Staten Island Ferry in our car.
Thomas Zaslavsky (Binghamton, N.Y.)
DeJoy makes money from competitors of the Postal Service while undermining the service by the Postal Service. (That service is mandated by the Constitution.) Why did not removing him get priority? The irreversible damage he has done was justified on false pretenses.
Bill (Missouri)
Good! At least frigid temperatures here will not stop gas vehicles. Hybrid engines might be a better choice than all electric. Batteries still suffer in cold. Does the postal budget include monies for heated garages to park the electric fleet?
GO (New York)
@Bill you are wrong. I have had a Tesla for 10 years, and never ever had any issue with it in subzero weather. My gas powered truck, however, I have to sometimes pour a kettle of water on to just to open the door, and other cold related issues. Not sure why you would spread misinformation. Teslas are actually a best selling car in Norway.
Bill (Missouri)
@GO your tesla defies science and physics while parked in an heated garage? Does the stuck truck share a heated stall, or sit outside?
Bob Deming (North Texas)
@GO The laws of physics always change in the Show-Me state. Bill won't believe anything until someone gives him a BEV.
Gautam (California)
Anyone surprised how few trucks are part of USPS' fleet? I'm in California and I figured we had a quarter million trucks just here in this state.
Appalled (CT)
A few things. Louis DeJoy needs to be removed. This fleet vehicle plan needs to be electrified... when it comes to fleets this large it really does matter and it will help move us forward. The Post Office needs to be released from it's obligation to pay up-front costs for retirement plans, which has been a cudgel to keep the service in debt. Then we need to institute postal banking to provide low cost banking services to all citizens (and give the Postal Service an additional revenue stream). Private/Corporate interests will lobby against these efforts of course, they should be ignored.
Paul (California)
How can one person do this? Obviously, there are endless lobbying funds to influence the decision but we are once again ceding an opportunity for global leadership as we cling to fossil fuels and fossilized ideas. Congress can override us and lead us to a hopeful future.
Prodigal Son (Sacramento, CA)
Regarding the push to get poluting vehicles off the road, is anyone other than me befuddled by all the transit buses zooming around mostly empty?
William Sharpe (North Bend Wa USA Earth)
@Prodigal Son All my adult life, befuddled on this. Why do life long tax payers pay twice to ride the bus too?
Thomas Zaslavsky (Binghamton, N.Y.)
@William Sharpe There are examples that indicate it is more efficient to provide free bus service, eliminating the cost of fare machines and the extra time they take on entry.
bl (rochester)
It is not clear from the article why there is no effort in the congressional review to undo the basic reason for the very large UPSP debt, that is, the need for the postal service to pay all personnel retirement costs upfront and at the same time rather than over time. Restructuring how USPS allocates its budget for retirement would reduce the large overhang in its expenditures. In addition, there is nothing herein that seems designed to introduce new sources of revenue that would come from the agency being able to offer rudimentary banking and check cashing ability. This would serve both a social need and introduce some new source of income. Instead this article is content to wave a large red flag in front of all those who dearly wish for dejoy to go back to where he came from. He's obviously a very fat target, and it is highly likely that this article is a veiled effort to introduce another rationale for the board to dismiss him. However, the article does not really convince that the costs associated with electrifying the USPS fleet would be possible without far more congressional money allocated directly to that end. So it is not an a priori unreasonable assertion to claim that an all EV fleet would be too expensive. In any case, this gas powered truck plan is but a plan so far. It can go the way of other plans if the structural problems with the USPS debt were to be solved by common sense and imagination, two things in short supply these days.
Laura (Midwest)
@bl: "It is not clear from the article why there is no effort in the congressional review to undo ..." Keep reading. There IS such an effort, and the article discusses it. It says: "The House is poised to relieve that burden with a sweeping postal reform bill expected to come to the floor for a vote in the coming weeks."
bl (rochester)
@Laura The article's wording does not mention anything about pension cost burdens. "Relieving" is not equivalent to "solving" the USPS debt burden. It's hard to believe there isn't something in this bill that has to do with the pension contribution overhang on the USPS budget, but it would have been helpful to have added a paragraph (or at least a link to an earlier article dedicated to that subject) describing the major factor contributing to the debt burden, and how the House is going to address it in its "reform package".
Bruce Rozenblit (Kansas City, MO)
How is it that one unelected person, only one person, can do so much damage to our nation and get away with it. It's as if DeJoy is some kind of untouchable autocrat. He doesn't answer to the President or to Congress. He only answers to a board of political hacks who were put there to do his bidding, kinda like the Supreme Court. Buying these gas powered vehicles would greatly retard the development of EV's as the best way to boost an industry is to buy its products. The federal government purchasing 300,000 EV's would inject much needed cash and spur further technological development. DeJoy's argument of can't afford them makes no sense. The Post Office is a service like the Marines or the Fire Dept. or the public schools. Their contribution cannot be measured in dollars. The Post Office should be subsidized due to its importance to society and EV's should be part of that subsidy. Furthermore, if you price gasoline at $3, the cost to fuel an EV is about 5 times cheaper. Then add in the greatly reduced maintenance. That's why UPS and Fedex and Amazon are rapidly embarking on electrifying their fleets. Besides, there is this problem called global warming which DeJoy obviously doesn't even recognize in his so called calculations.
A Yank in the UK (London)
@Bruce Rozenblit I entirely agree with you. In addition, the article states that "the Postal Service is an independent agency." This is incomplete; it should read "the Postal Service is an independent agency of the United States government." Thus, I don't see how it is acceptable for DeJoy to ignore government policy. Why is he still Postmaster General??
Barbara (Coastal SC)
@Bruce Rozenblit While I agree with your standpoint, the fact is that the Postal Service is not like the Marines or the fire department. It is supposed to be self-funded. It does not answer to the president or anyone else. Therein lies the difference.
Thomas Zaslavsky (Binghamton, N.Y.)
@Bruce Rozenblit DeJoy is a quisling installed to promote privatization of mail delivery. He profits from the latter and he knows what he's doing.
Somewhere in (ME)
Less than 5 percent of all mail sent is personal correspondence. Magazines are a much smaller percent. More than half of all mail is advertising, and how much of this ends up in the recycling bin, or worse - in the trash? Go ahead and debate electric versus gas (I'm for electric), but there's a much larger discussion that needs to happen regarding the USPS. The world has changed - nobody needs mail delivery 5 days a week anymore. Let's maybe scale it back to a weekend-only service and reduce all the waste and wasted taxpayer subsidies. Blow it up and recreate it as a model that best serves our citizens in the technologically advanced 21st Century, instead of hanging onto an antiquated service that was designed for the 18th & 19th century, and was last reorganized in 1970 - over 50 years ago, when none of the communication technologies we use today existed. I'm so tired of reading articles about waste in one form or another at the USPS, as well as the daily task of moving trash from my mailbox to the recycling bin. What a waste of everyone's time and money.
Laura (Midwest)
@Somewhere in: Speak for yourself. I love the postal service! So convenient (don't even have to leave my house to mail something), so friendly.
Appalled (CT)
@Somewhere in The Postal Service could do a lot more than just deliver mail, it's one of the best options for providing efficient low cost services to every single zip code in the nation. Postal banking is one such example (we used to have this until private banks lobbied it out of existence).
Thomas Zaslavsky (Binghamton, N.Y.)
@Somewhere in You are assuming everyone else's needs are identical to yours. Need I say how ridiculous that is?
SFM (Boyertown)
No one wants it bad enough. DeJoy is an easy-enough target (just look at that face, and if only it were accompanied by that characteristic voice). But it's just more derpy, bungled, slogging, lazy nothingness from this administration. Is the electric option really, actually viable? Yeah, I've seen the same couple of teaser articles that everyone else has seen, but the electric trucks were completely presented to the public merely as nice-to-have cute curiosities, not rain/wind/snow torture-tested and reliability-proven and ready for the task (not to mention, affordable). Aaaand ... here we are. Time for the contract. And we got nothin'. Just like the last 100 years of gasoline, because every stakeholder probably has a gasoline interest. Way to go, again, America.
Dave (New Jersey)
Good for the Postmaster. He should be reappointed to another term for his courage and common sense. Environmental alarmism will not save the world and will be economically calamitous. The world needs reliable transportation. Let’s focus on better mileage versus expensive and unproven technology.
Next (USA)
Your correct the world needs reliable transportation. So electric vehicles are totally the way to go! They are cheaper to operate and maintain. You can get way more mileage out of each vehicle and they are a pleasure to drive. (Have you tried one? You really should). On top of all that we have probably already hit peak oil and it will only become increasingly expensive and difficult to find more. An investment in a 30 year vehicle fleet needs to consider the fact that gasoline vehicles might become very expensive to operate and perhaps even an orphaned technology as fuel prices keep going up and everything switches to electric. Plus of course climate change is real and deadly serious.
Michael Pettee (Saint Paul)
Electric cars: - Are proven - Are more reliable - Require less maintenance (no muffler, no tail pipe, no carburetor, no fan belts, no radiator, no fuel pump, regenerative engine forces mean longer lasting brake parts, no oil changes, no transmission, and more) - Use fuel more efficiently (overall, including power generation) - Have better pick up and acceleration. - Could be the perfect choice for regular twice daily delivery routes under 250 miles Perhaps you should test drive one so you can know what you’re talking about.
pinwale (d.c.)
@Dave Unfortunately the new gas-powered trucks are projected to be only 0.8mpg more "efficient" fleet-wide over the old trucks. new truck: 8.6 mpg old truck: 8.2 mpg Even the Ram ProMaster (which is piecemeal replacing some truck) has vastly better MPG. This issue is that most USPS delivery trucks only travel ~25 miles a day/~5000 miles a year, but they do a lot of stop-and-go. That driving behavior is very hard on gasoline engines—but is well suited for electric or even hybrid vehicles. As for unproven EV tech, GM's BrightDrop EV delivery vans are pretty stellar at 250 miles with ample cargo capacity. Rivian & others are close to releasing their own delivery products. And EV charging can be easily be installed at the depot or a commercial lot, similar to how gasoline is currently furnished.
Next (USA)
Dejoy has to go! This is ridiculous. This is a golden opportunity to electrify the postal fleet I can’t even imagine what they are thinking. Electric vehicles are perfect for this application. They have much lower maintenance, charging is cheaper than fueling and they can be charged or swapped for another vehicle during loading. The post office could even sell charging services in their parking lots for additional income. There are enough companies with electric van options to get started and placing a huge order to any of them would be a big win for the electric vehicle market. Ford comes to mind with their electric transit van. Keep the current vendor if needed but please drop the gasoline vehicles! No government service should be placing large orders for gasoline vehicles in 2022. If this debacle wasn’t enough my mail service has really hit rock bottom this past year. In January alone I lost at least 5 pieces of mail that I know of and 2 more were returned to the sender despite having the correct address. The post office is not a business it’s a government service and is an important part of our infrastructure and economy!
Allen Nikora (Los Angeles)
And it’s also Constitutionally mandated.
pinwale (d.c.)
Apparently, the new gas-powered trucks are projected to be only 0.8mpg more "efficient" over the old trucks. new truck: 8.6 mpg old truck: 8.2 mpg EPA source:
This is inexcusable. Post Office Trucks stop and start every 100 feet. Nothing but electric is justifiable.
Question Everything (Highland NY)
@LBH Agreed. Electric is cost-effective and better for our collective environment.
David (Canada)
@LBH Fleet vehicles like the ones in this case is one of the relatively few cases where electric vehicles might make sense, but with the rapidly advancing carbon removal tech we're seeing even that is questionable.  My gut feeling is that as long as they would have the range for a full day's work, the gas and maintenance savings minus the much higher initial cost would still be cheaper than ICEs with carbon removal, but with the way carbon removal tech is rapidly advancing you'd definitely have to do the math.  They're saying that with this new tech they'll be able to get down to $50/ton removed or less.
See Car and Driver (US)
The new trucks will be safer, in many ways. The old trucks didn’t even have airbags and were unwieldy vehicles. The new ones will actually include safety systems like 360 degree exterior cameras, and automated emergency braking. Some of the new trucks are battery-electric vehicles. All internal combustion engines “will be able to be retrofitted to keep up with the latest EV tech”. Look at the January 22 article in Car and Driver magazine, online. I’m not a fan of de Joy’s. I don’t know the back room deals that every government purchase does, Republican or Democrat. But these trucks don’t seem so bad. Doesn’t it depend where the trucks are used - city, suburban, rural - that may determine if total EV is realistic right now?
pinwale (d.c.)
The USPS has already ruled out any EV transition (beyond maybe, possibly 10% of the trucks) that uses USPS money for the NGDV program. The EV transition stuff was just PR for the launch. Since then, USPS removed all references to any type of EV transition from their official responses. The modern driving aids + A/C are sorely needed, but rushing to buy sub-standard fleet vehicles from a contractor not known for civilian or commercial fleet vehicles would be disappointing. These are vehicles that will be running on our streets for the next 30+ years. I'd say let's pick the best and most efficient vehicle design. USPS should demand better vehicles than just a 0.8 mpg gain in efficiency over the old LLV truck. Hybrids and EVs would be perfect for the stop-and-go route pattern. The USPS says most delivery trucks only go ~25 miles a day and ~5000 miles a year. I'm looking at a case study on alternative fuel vehicles done by the USPS in 1997! ...and it claims that running costs for EV-converted LLVs would be 5-2 cents/mile more. This was 25 years ago. I'm sure the costs are a lot more lower now.
MSF (Nyc)
This is a crucial opportunity for Biden to shine - or to wither. He HAS TO put down his foot and cancel that contract. All auto makers would be racing to get e-vehicles to the USPS. It is just the thing we need to speed up the transition - and to bring jobs to the chosen manufaturer - and to go into midterm elections with a tangible result. So many reasons to get this right. All new government limousine purchases should be electric as well.
Matt (Ohio)
Yeah, but have you seen the new trucks? They're adorable. More importantly (and not mentioned in this article): they can be fitted with gasoline engines -or- electric. I applaud DeJoy for doing what actually needs done to achieve USPS goals. As much as people like to clown the Postal Service, they are a good example of an effective US agency.
J (F)
@Matt They've already said they won't retrofit. I assume you knew that.
Matt (Ohio)
@J what I was getting at is that they-can- retrofit. The last mail trucks lasted 30 years- that’s enough time to grow into a solution even if it’s not all electric all today.
J (F)
@Matt Right - except Louis DeJoy made it clear that they won't. So this is the one chance. Pay more now for electric vehicles or pay for ones that will damage the environment more - the report is to the tune of $900 million - and move the needle from 8.2 mpg on 30-year-old trucks to 8.6. I try not to be a conspiracy person, but DeJoy is by most any metric not a guy who cares about the health of people of the planet.
Greg White (Illinois)
It is another one of my big disappointments with the Biden administration that they have not done more to get DeJoy replaced. We have all experienced the decline in the postal service under his tenure, so it disheartening to see that stopping that decline is apparently not a high priority.
A Yank in the UK (London)
@Greg White I have been willing to cut President Biden a lot of slack given the massive problems he inherited, along with the near complete dedication of power over country by the Republicans. But getting rid of DeJoy was a Day Two slam dunk. Why hasn't it happened?
Ajax (Santa Fe, NM)
Yes, it would be great to see all USPS trucks becoming electric overnight. But: 1. Who can supply 231,000 electric trucks, that do not even exist, beyond a few prototypes? 2. Where is the infrastructure to charge those imaginary trucks? 3. How long will it be until issues 1 and 2 are resolved? 5 years? 10 years? 4. In the meantime, buying new and more fuel efficient trucks is definitely better than keep running 30 year old clunkers. Let's be realistic, for Pete's sake!
Thomas Wolf (nc)
@Ajax I came to the comment section because I was going to make the same comment, but I realized that a contract for new electric trucks doesn’t have to happen all at once as you suggest in (1) and (2). And I think your estimate of 5-10 years is not really realistic. Electric vans are neither in the prototype stage nor would it take 5-10 years to mass produce them. There are already several companies due to deliver production electric vans this year: Arrival and Rivian are two examples. Both have contracts to supply UPS and Amazon, respectively, with vans.
MSF (Nyc)
@Ajax , They do already exist, albeit expensive- and you can plan ahead to phase them in - as gas vehicles phase out. The fleet has differnt size vehicles for differnt ranges. If the USPS places such an order it can MAKE the transition happen, because all auto makers WANT that deal. We all grew up to admire The Litte Engine That Could. Where is the Can-Do spirit?
Robert Schoenberg (Houston, Tx)
@Ajax Yeah, mustn't rush. Better be careful. There's so much that could go wrong. We're to dumb to fix things that might crop up or plan for the future. We should just let this giant step to mitigate climate change go for now. We'll get it in the next 30 year cycle. After all there's no hurry to do anything. is there?
See also