States and environmental groups sue USPS for petrol mail delivery trucks

An alliance of environmental groups and more than a dozen states on Thursday filed a lawsuit against the United States Postal Service (USPS) over plans to replace mail trucks with majority-patrol fleets.

A new mail truck design from defense contractor Oshkosh was unveiled in February 2021, with plans to electrify only 10% of the fleet. This immediately sparked criticism, as outgoing Grumman “Long Life Vehicle” (LLV) trucks were widely expected to be replaced by fully electric trucks.

Now a lawsuit filed by EarthJustice, CleanAirNow KC, the Sierra Club, and the Center for Biodiversity in the Northern District of California – joined by lawsuits from 16 states – alleges that USPS signed an agreement with Oshkosh before conducting proper environmental analysis, or Before determining the exact cost for electric vehicles.

US Postal Service Grumman

US Postal Service Grumman

The analysis used to justify most gasoline fleet plans included unrealistically high battery-cost estimates, while gas-price estimates were unrealistically low, the Sierra Club said in a press release.

USPS used an estimate of $ 2.19 per gallon, which is expected to increase to $ 2.55 per gallon by 2040, according to the Sierra Club. The analysis also estimates that suitable EVs will not reach a range of more than 70 miles, the agency said.

Gasoline versions of the new mail truck are expected to average 8.6 mpg with air conditioning running, which is worse than the Grumman LLV truck when new, Sierra Club noted. And since mail trucks travel an average of 20 miles per day and are parked in a concentrated area at night, they are “especially important for electrification,” the group argues.

USPS Next Generation Delivery Vehicle - Oshkosh Defense

USPS Next Generation Delivery Vehicle – Oshkosh Defense

In addition to lawsuits from environmental groups, 16 states, including California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington, D.C. Columbia has filed its own lawsuits, including the City of New York and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District of California.

The USPS initially pushed ahead with its plan despite requests from members of the White House, EPA and Congress to reconsider the environmental analysis and add more electric vehicles to the order.

The USPS recently raised its electric truck orders amid controversy, but it’s not clear if this will mean more for the entire production because the deal didn’t work out.

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