Car Industry

USPS mail trucks to get more EV funding from Congress

As part of the Postal Service Reform Act, the USPS would receive another $8 billion to help make the majority of new mail carriers electric.

More funding means more EVs.

Following snags in the new USPS mail truck contract, which awards Wisconsin-based Oshkosh the production of up to 165,000 new vehicles, the postal service is in for more funding to make good on an EV pledge from President Joe Biden. The House Oversight and Reform Committee has attached an extra $8 billion to the Postal Service Reform Act for the USPS to make the majority of new mail trucks electric vehicles.

The committee announced the legislation's approval via a voice vote on Thursday before it moves closer to reaching a final vote in both chambers of Congress. It's an important step after lawmakers questioned if the contract meets Biden's executive order to convert the federal fleet to EVs. The bill, so far, includes bipartisan support, including from Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, appointed during the Trump administration. DeJoy previously told Congress during a hearing the contract it awarded Oshkosh simply didn't include enough funds to make the majority of new mail carriers electric and estimated it would cost an extra $4 billion to make it happen. Democratic lawmakers quickly served up legislation to provide $6 billion in extra funding, though this addition goes even further with the $8 billion sum.

The funds will completely swap priorities for Oshkosh, which said the vehicle platform for the Next-Generation Delivery Vehicle, or NGDV, would support both low-emissions engines or a battery-electric powertrain. The rather odd original plan to send NGDVs with an engine back to Oshkosh in the future for electric powertrains never seemed workable. Keep in mind, the original contract before any additional funding only calls for 10% of the new trucks to be EVs.

While the bill includes good news for the new mail trucks, the crux of the reform bill is to put the USPS back on a sustainable path after years of losses. Notably, the legislation repeals the USPS' mandate to prefund retiree health benefits and integrates Medicare into future postal service employment contracts.

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