It’s been a long road to get here, folks. Constant criticism, a strongly-worded letter from the Environmental Protection Agency, a presidential plea, and a lawsuit from 16 states is all it took for the agency to commit to quit purchasing new gas-powered delivery vehicles.
Let’s take a look inside the USPS’s plan to switch to EVs and review what it took to get here. And as an end-of-year treat, I’ve also rounded up some of my favorite Tech Review climate coverage from the year. Let’s get into it.
The obvious choice
As of 2020, transportation was the single biggest driver of climate change in the US, accounting for 27% of greenhouse gas emissions. And the US federal government operates the largest fleet in the world at 650,000 vehicles, with the USPS making up about one-third of that.
Joe Biden has made the federal fleet one of the targets of his plans for EVs, setting a goal for all new federal vehicles purchased after 2035 to be electric, with light-duty vehicles hitting that target by 2027.
But the USPS has been marching to a different drummer. Even as the Biden administration touted plans to electrify and cut emissions, the USPS seemed to dig in its heels on plans to purchase more fossil fuel-powered vehicles. Last year, when the agency first announced a contract to replace trucks, only 10% were going to be EVs.