WASHINGTON—The United States Postal Service will buy more than 9,000 Ford electric delivery vehicles, one year after an initial plan to buy predominantly gasoline-powered vehicles sparked controversy, The Hill reports.
In an announcement Wednesday, USPS said it has awarded contracts to buy 9,250 Ford EVs, part of a vehicle electrification plan Postmaster General Louis DeJoy announced in December. USPS will also buy an equivalent number of gas-powered vehicles and 14,000 charging stations.
“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. Electrification of our vehicle fleet is now an important component of these initiatives,” DeJoy said in a statement. “We have developed a strategy that mitigates both cost and risk of deployment—which enable execution on this initiative to begin now.”
USPS will begin building out charging infrastructure across 75 locations over the next month, the service said in a statement.
USPS awarded contracts to three suppliers totaling $260 million for the purchase of more than 14,000 charging stations—Blink Charging, Siemens and Rexel USA, a unit of Rexel Group, according to Reuters.
In February 2022, USPS announced its new vehicle order would be majority gas-powered. DeJoy maintained that the USPS did not have the funds for a larger EV order, but in December 2022 announced that $3 billion in Inflation Reduction Act funds would be used to expand the USPS EV order, and that new vehicles would be 100% electric after 2026, according to The Hill.