We recently wrote about the boondoggle that is the United States Postal Service's new postal vehicle and its, frankly, abysmal fuel economy. In that article, we mentioned that the Biden administration and the EPA had both strongly encouraged the USPS to reevaluate its decision to spend billions of taxpayer dollars on buying and supporting gas-guzzling mail trucks.
Unfortunately, those pleas seem to have gone ignored because, as The Verge reported on Wednesday, the USPS will be moving forward with the Oshkosh designed and built internal combustion-powered mail trucks. Yeah, we're disappointed, too.
Of the 165,000 new postal vehicles that are planned for purchase, only potentially around 10% will be battery-electric, and the rest can only manage an abysmal 8.6 mpg average. Aside from the financial costs associated with the purchase of fuel and maintenance for this fleet of vehicles, that horrible fuel economy rating (it's just 0.4 mpg improved over the Grumman LLV, which went out of production in 1994), environmentalists are concerned about the ecological impact this purchase will have as well as its human cost in the form of pollution-related illnesses.
In a statement, the USPS claims it will focus on adding more battery-electric vehicles to its fleet as more funding becomes available, be that internal funds or congressional funding. Given the state the postal fleet is in currently, with the newest LLVs nearing 30 years of age, we're not holding our breath for the postal service to suddenly change gears.