USPS Now Looks to June 2024 for EV Delivery

USPS Oshkosh delivery van feature

The U.S. Postal Service won’t be receiving an order for electric vehicles in its delivery fleet from Oshkosh Defense until June of next year, nine months behind schedule, which was revealed in a court document related to lawsuits against the USPS and Postmaster General Louis DeJoy.

The lawsuits were filed in April 2022 by 17 state attorneys general, two environmental groups plus New York City and the District of Columbia. All opposed the USPS’ initial plan to purchase mostly gas-powered delivery vehicles vs. predominantly EVs, a ratio that has since changed after pressure was applied.

According to the filing Monday in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, the USPS is drafting a supplemental environmental impact statement (SEIS) based on revisions to its Next Generation Delivery Vehicle (NGDV) acquisition program. The draft is expected to be ready for public review and comment by June 30, 2023, a month after initially proposed. Several aspects of the environmental analysis had to be revised based on public comments.

The filing notes the USPS’ contract awards last month for 9,250 EVs from Ford and the same number of gas-powered vehicles from Dodge, plus 14,000 charging stations from three separate firms, as part of its argument to continue a stay of litigation.

The defendants accuse the USPS of “(continuing) to change the description of its vehicle acquisition project and the project alternatives under review while manufacture of Next Generation Delivery Vehicles and additional vehicle orders are ongoing.” They also say the contract awards to Ford and Dodge were undertaken “while relying on an inadequate and unlawful Environmental Impact Statement and Record of Decision which do not evaluate the acquisitions that USPS has announced it is pursuing.”

If the USPS orders any more gas-powered vehicles without prior environmental review, before the supplemental EIS and revised ROD are completed, the plaintiffs threaten to ask the court to remove the stay of litigation.

Initially, the USPS struck a $2.98 billion contract with Oshkosh for 50,000 EVs in February 2022. The first batch of those vehicles are what is now projected for delivery in June 2023. Oshkosh is also a defendant in the combined lawsuits.