It’s been a long road to get here, folks. Constant criticism, a strong letter from the Environmental Protection Agency, a presidential plea and a 16-state lawsuit were enough for the agency to commit to stop buying new gas-powered delivery vehicles.
Let’s take a look at the USPS’ plan to transition to electric vehicles and examine what it took to get here. And as a year-end giveaway, I’ve also rounded up some of my favorite Tech Review climate covers of the year. Let’s go.
The obvious choice
In 2020, transportation was the biggest driver of climate change in the United States, accounting for 27% of greenhouse gas emissions. And the US federal government operates the largest fleet in the world with 650,000 vehicles, with the USPS accounting for about a third.
Joe Biden has made the federal fleet one of the targets of his electric vehicle plans, setting a goal for all new federal vehicles purchased after 2035 to be electric, with light-duty vehicles meeting that goal by 2027.
But the USPS walked to a different drummer. Even as the Biden administration touted electrification and emissions reduction plans, the USPS appeared to be sticking to its plans to buy more fossil-fuel vehicles. Last year, when the agency first announced a truck replacement contract, only 10% were going to be electric vehicles.