U.S. Postal Service Finally Gets the Message on Clean Vehicles

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Postal Service announced that it plans to significantly increase its purchases of electric delivery vehicles as it transitions to buying nearly all electric vehicles in a few years.

Last year, NRDC petitioned USPS to prioritize the purchase of clean trucks, and, in April, NRDC and the United Auto Workers filed a lawsuit against the Postal Service’s faulty environmental review of its plan to buy up to 90% polluting, non-union made vehicles.  

The following is a statement from Marc Boom, director of federal affairs at NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council):

 “The U.S. Postal Service is finally getting the message. An electric postal fleet is good for the environment, good for our communities, good for postal workers, and good for the USPS bottom line.”

 "This is a dramatic turn around. Going from an initial plan to purchase just 10% electric delivery vehicles to more than 75% now shows the Postal Service is starting to listen to the hundreds of thousands of Americans who urged it to buy cleaner vehicles.

 “To be frank, it shouldn’t have taken this long. With historic investments from Congress and the support of the Biden administration, the Postal Service should be able to deliver union-made, clean vehicles in all neighborhoods around the country, but better late than never."


In January of 2015, the Postal Service began the process of replacing its aging delivery vehicle fleet of roughly 212,000 vehicles, vehicles that have been on the road for decades in some cases. Based on undisclosed and unsupported assumptions, the Postal Service initially said that only about 10% of the new vehicles would be electric. However, independent experts agree that up to 95% of Postal Service routes could be served by electric vehicles. 

NRDC and UAW sued over the USPS flawed environmental review in April. Our lawyers will need to study the details of today’s announcement before deciding next steps on that lawsuit. In particular, the issue of a unionized workforce was not addressed in the USPS announcement today.

As part of the Inflation Reduction Act, Congress agreed to give USPS $3 billion to help it buy a zero-emitting fleet and the accompanying charging infrastructure. 

For more on this important issue, please see this blog by Britt Carmon.  

NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 3 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us at www.nrdc.org and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.

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