Where are the electric mail trucks?

Bureaucracy and budgets are keeping USPS from upgrading to a fully EV fleet.

Selina Lee

Mail trucks are a perfect fit for EVs. They have short, slow, predictable routes, and park in the same spot every night.

So, of the 165k mail trucks the USPS plans to procure, why will just 10% be electric?

  • The USPS has 2 budgets: an operating budget, and a capital budget.
  • The $80B operating budget keeps things running (e.g., salaries, repairs, etc.). For instance, each of its 142k mail trucks requires $5k in maintenance per year.
  • The ~$2B capital budget is where the agency draws from to buy new trucks. For better upgrades, the agency would need to borrow money, which is challenging given its borrowing limit.

While investing in EVs has a higher upfront cost, experts say it could save the agency $4.3B over time — though given the constraints, it’s not that easy.

Still, it may be worth biting the bullet when you see this.

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