USPS strategy to get 40,000 “gasoline-guzzling” vehicles sparks congressional probe

May 14, 2022 Off By [email protected]_84

The U.S. Postal Service’s approach to add 40,000 gasoline-powered trucks that only get 8.6 miles for each gallon has sparked a congressional inquiry, with House lawmakers questioning no matter if the company “relied on flawed assumptions to justify the buy of gasoline-driven vehicles.”

The Property Committee on Oversight and Reform reported in a May well 12 letter that it needs the USPS to provide a lot more info about the service’s “Future Generation Shipping and delivery Car or truck” approach, which to begin with will involve an order for 50,000 automobiles. Of those, about 40,000 are gas-fueled trucks that only get 8.6 mpg, or only .4 mpg extra than the USPS’ more mature fleet of vans, according to the Environmental Protection Company. 

The remaining 10,000 trucks will be electric powered automobiles.

The postal agency’s program to exchange its current fleet with largely gas-driven trucks has raised worries amongst extra than a dozen states and environmental groups, with lawsuits filed last month that accuse the USPS of failing to meet environmental review standards. 

A the latest report from the U.S. Government Accountability Place of work flagged several problems with the USPS’ price and benefit investigation for the obtain, these as basing its purchase on a fuel selling price of as minimal as $2.21 per gallon — about $2 a gallon a lot less than the recent cost of fuel.

In the Might 12 letter, Oversight Committee Chairwoman Rep. Carolyn Maloney wrote that she “urge[s] the Postal Services to get methods to speedily transition to an electrical fleet relatively than shifting ahead with options to get tens of thousands of gasoline-guzzling vans.”

The inquiry comes following the Home on Wednesday innovative a monthly bill that would invalidate the USPS’ environmental influence statement (EIS) about the effects of the new trucks, and require the postal company to develop a new EIS before buying more vehicles,

Pushback could delay new vans

The USPS stated that it was “discouraged” by the monthly bill, which it reported could hold off the rollout of the vehicles by a 12 months or far more. 

A hold off “will also have environmental implications as 30-yr outdated environmentally and staff-unfriendly motor vehicles proceed to vacation through American neighborhoods, and our order of 10,019 electric automobiles is place on hold,” a USPS spokeswoman reported in an e mail to CBS MoneyWatch. “The males and females of the U.S. Postal Service have waited prolonged sufficient for safer, cleaner vehicles.”

The dispute around the new vehicles stems from a 2021 agreement between the USPS and Oshkosh Defense, championed by Postmaster Common Louis DeJoy, to develop 50,000 automobiles out of a new fleet of 165,000 vans. The $482 million agreement has elicited blended reactions, with critics calling out everything from the trucks’ design and style to their gasoline efficiency. 

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Critics say the USPS’ “upcoming technology” supply truck (viewed in a promotional shot higher than), which will get much less than 9 mpg, is a fuel guzzler.

USPS


Witnesses at an April hearing about the automobile offer elevated questions about whether the USPS “applied flawed assumptions in its environmental and charge analyses to justify the acquire of gasoline-guzzling shipping and delivery vehicles relatively than electrical vehicles,” Maloney wrote in the May possibly 12 letter. 

Apart from the assumptions about gas prices that have been off by $2 a gallon, Maloney cited the GAO’s acquiring that the USPS “miscalculated maintenance costs for electric autos.” She mentioned that other people have reported that the postal agency also relied on inaccurate information about the expense of EV chargers and the array of EVs.

The USPS explained that the criticism of its environmental impression statement ignores the agency’s “distinct delivery profile, which needs our automobiles to journey short distances in between hundreds of curbside boxes and to stop and get started frequently all over the day, which is a vastly diverse shipping profile than that of our competition.”