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House Democrats to introduce a bill that could see the USPS go electric sooner

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Jared Huffman of California, could provide upward of $6 billion for the purchase of electric vehicles.

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A new bill could see 75% of new USPS delivery trucks go electric.

USPS

It wasn't all that long ago that the US Postal Service awarded a nearly half-billion-dollar contract for replacing its fleet of delivery trucks to Wisconsin-based military vehicle manufacturer Oshkosh Corp.

The USPS' current plan, such as it is, involves just 10% of the forthcoming Next Generation Delivery Vehicles being battery-electric. That figure is obviously a long way off from the complete transition to electric power for the federal vehicle fleet that President Joe Biden touted, but now, according to a report published Monday by Reuters, there's a bill set to be introduced to the House that could see the USPS going electric a lot sooner than before.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Jared Huffman, R-Calif., would give the USPS up to $6 billion to ensure that at least 75% of its NGDVs would be electric. Beyond that, it would mandate that the postal service be fully electric by January of 2040, with at least half of the agency's medium and heavy-duty truck purchases being electric by 2029.

The bill is also backed by several other key Democrats, including Rep. Peter DeFazio of Oregon and Rep. Carolyn Maloney from New York -- key because Rep. DeFazio chairs the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, while Rep. Maloney chairs the USPS Oversight and Reform Committee.

"The challenge remains the Postal Service's billions in annual operating losses, which is why we welcome and are interested in any support from Congress that advances the goal of a Postal Service vehicle fleet with zero emissions, and the necessary infrastructure required to operate it," said a USPS representative in a statement. "With the right level of support, the majority of the Postal Service's fleet can be electric by the end of the decade."

It's unclear at this point what level of support the bill has from the rest of the House, including the GOP or indeed, the Senate, but if passed, it would be a huge step toward President Biden's goal.

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