Today, the US Postal Service announced that it will make 40% of its next electric mail truck purchase, up from 10% the agency forecast earlier this year. The news comes after a lawsuit filed by environmental groups CleanAirNow KC and Sierra Club represented by Earthjustice, and a series of lawsuits filed by United Auto Workers (UAW), Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and more than a dozen attorneys general. Earthjustice supporters sent in more than 106,000 public comments protesting the Postal Service’s plans to procure polluting mail trucks with a heartbreaking 8.6 mpg mileage with the air conditioning on.
In response to the post announcement, Adrian Martinez, lead advocate for Earthjustice’s Right to Zero campaignissued the following statement:
“The facts on the ground show that mail trucks in the United States can and should be electric. These vehicles are among the easiest to electrify, as they tend to run on short, fixed routes, often idling. After a quick series of lawsuits from environmental groups and the UAW, inquiries from members of Congress, and a deluge of public pressure from Americans weighing in with thousands of public comments, the Postal Service begins to understand the message. They now make 40% of their next battery electric fleet purchase.
“But that should just be the start – it’s high time we started replacing retired gas trucks with electric trucks made right here with good union jobs.” Ultimately, the entire postal fleet needs to be electrified to provide clean air to every neighborhood in the country and avoid gas price volatility. The struggle continues for an electrified postal delivery fleet.