KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The United States Postal Service awarded the Ford Kansas City Assembly Plant with a contract to build 9,250 electric vehicles as the USPS plans to electrify its nationwide delivery fleet, according to a press release.
The USPS’s total investment in new vehicles is expected to total $9.6 billion. While the majority of the funding comes from USPS’s revenue, $3 billion comes from Inflation Reduction Act funds, according to the USPS.
“Ford is proud to support the United States Postal Service in delivering a more sustainable future for America by electrifying their fleet with over 9,200 E-Transit vans through the end of 2024,” said Jim Farley, Ford president and CEO, in a press release. “Built by our dedicated UAW workforce at the Kansas City Assembly Plant, vehicles will be operated by the largest electric fleet in the country serving communities on every street corner. Together with USPS, we are committing to cleaner air and a better planet.”
The USPS has also invested in building 14,000 charging stations for Postal Service facilities.
Of the 106,000 delivery vehicles the USPS plans to purchase by 2028, 66,230 will be electric powered, according to the USPS. These vehicles will replace the Postal Service’s “aging delivery fleet of 220,000 vehicles.”
“We have a statutory requirement to deliver mail and packages to 163 million addresses six days per week and to cover our costs in doing so – that is our mission,” said Postmaster General Louis DeJoy in a press release. “As I have said in the past, if we can achieve those objectives in a more environmentally responsible way, we will do so.”
The new delivery vehicles, which are called Next Generation Delivery Vehicles (NGDV), will provide a safer and more efficient experience for USPS drivers.
According to USPS, the NGDVs will have air conditioning and advanced safety technology, both of which are absent from the USPS’s current fleet. The new vehicles will also accommodate modern day operational requirements.
“We are moving forward with our plans to simultaneously improve our service, reduce our cost, grow our revenue, and improve the working environment for our employees,” DeJoy said. “Electrification of our vehicle fleet is now an important component of these initiatives."
It remains unknown where the NGDVs and charging stations will be deployed while the USPS finalizes its nationwide delivery network modernization plan.
In a statement, Ford said the NGDVs will be ready in late 2024, but USPS is hopeful the vehicles will be servicing postal routes by the end of 2023.
The USPS is currently investigating whether the entire Postal Service delivery fleet, which is the United States’ largest and oldest federal fleet, can attain 100% electrification.