The U.S. Postal Service is buying more than 9,000 battery-powered delivery vans made by Ford Motor as part of a $10 billion push to electrify its aging fleet.
The Ford E-Transit Battery EVs, which the Postal Service expects to take delivery of this December, are part of plan to electrify 75% of the its service trucks over the next five years, the agency said in a statement Tuesday.
“We are moving forward with our plans to simultaneously improve our service, reduce our cost, grow our revenue, and improve the working environment for our employees,” Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said in the statement. “Electrification of our vehicle fleet is now an important component of these initiatives.”
In addition to the 9,250 Ford vans, which will be manufactured at a Ford plant in Kansas City, Missouri, the agency said it was awarding contracts to purchase some 14,000 charging stations.
Ford had no immediate comment. Shares of the automaker were unchanged in aftermarket trading.
The contract marks a turnaround for the postal service, which had announced in early 2022 that it planned to replace its fleet of red-white-and blue delivery vans with mostly gasoline-fueled models made by Oshkosh Corp. That was a blow to President Joe Biden’s climate agenda and a bid by startup EV maker Workhorse Group Inc., which had competed for the order.
Following outrage from congressional lawmakers and environmentalists, as well as an infusion of $3 billion in funds from the Biden administration’s signature Inflation Reduction Act, the agency reversed course in December and unveiled a $10 billion plan to buy battery-powered vehicles.
That replacement plan means the Postal Service still will need to purchase 9,250 internal combustion engine models “to fill the urgent need for vehicles,” it said. The agency expects a “commitment of funds” by 2028 to buy a total of 66,230 electric delivery vans as part of an overall addition of 106,000 new vehicles for its delivery fleet.
Learn how to navigate and strengthen trust in your business with The Trust Factor, a weekly newsletter examining what leaders need to succeed. Sign up here.