WASHINGTON — The United States Postal Service awarded a competitive contract Tuesday to Ford Motor Co. for 9,250 battery-electric vehicles.
USPS plans to spend around $9.6 billion on vehicles, the agency said, but it’s unclear immediately how much the contract with Ford will be and USPS did not immediately respond to a request for more information.
The Ford E-Transit vehicles will be produced in Kansas City, Missouri, and will begin being delivered in December.
The agency also plans to buy 9,250 gas-powered vehicles from Stellantis NV alongside the EVs “to fill the urgent need for vehicles,” according to a USPS press release. Three quarters of the agency’s acquisitions over the next five years will be EVs, and 100% of acquisitions after 2026 will be EVs.
Altogether, the Ford and Stellantis purchases will total $1 billion.
USPS also awarded competitive contracts to three suppliers for more than 14,000 EV charging stations that will recharge delivery vehicles at postal facilities.
“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 a statement. :Electrification of our vehicle fleet is now an important component of these initiatives.”
The agency has not yet determined where the new vehicles will be deployed, and says chargers will go to at least 75 locations within the next year.
The Inflation Reduction Act appropriated additional funding for USPS to buy electric vehicles. The agency estimates the funding will help them get 66,230 electric delivery vehicles as part of an overall purchase of 106,000 new delivery trucks.
USPS’ path to electrification has been politically fraught – the agency first announced in 2021 it would make only 10% of its new fleet electric. Biden administration officials and Democrats in Congress pushed back, and several Democrat-led states sued to stop the plan. USPS slowly ramped up the percentage of the fleet it promised it would make electric before settling on the 62% it plans on today.