The Us Postal Service Is In Conclusion Getting Evs
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The United States Postal Service is last going electrical. The USPS announced Tuesday that it plans to get at least 66,000 electric delivery vehicles between now as well as 2028, in addition to all purchases afterward 2026 will be EVs. In full, the means volition invest nearly $10 billion to electrify its fleet.
It’second been a long route to go hither, folks. Constant criticism, a strongly-worded letter of the alphabet from the Environmental Protection Agency, a presidential plea, as well as a lawsuit from xvi states is all it took for the means to commit to quit purchasing novel gas-powered delivery vehicles.
Let’sec accept a look inside the USPS’s plan to switch to EVs too review what it took to go hither. And equally an stop-of-twelvemonth treat, I’ve as well rounded upwardly just about of my favorite Tech Review climate coverage from the yr. Let’second become into it.
The obvious selection
As of 2020, shipping was the unmarried biggest driver of climate alter inwards the the States, accounting for 27% of greenhouse gas emissions. And the USA federal authorities operates the largest fleet in the world at 650,000 vehicles, amongst the USPS making upward nigh one-3rd of that.
Joe Biden has made the federal fleet one of the targets of his plans for EVs, setting a finish for all new federal vehicles purchased later 2035 to live electrical, amongst low-cal-duty vehicles hitting that target by 2027.
But the USPS has been marching to a different drummer. Even every bit the Biden management touted plans to electrify together with cutting emissions, the USPS seemed to dig in its heels on plans to purchase more fossil fuel-powered vehicles. Last twelvemonth, when the way beginning announced a contract to replace trucks, alone x% were going to live EVs.
Mail trucks needed an upgrade, too badly. Many on the road today are nigh xxx years old. Replacing them with electrical ones is an obvious act.
In add-on to cutting lifetime emissions past one-half or more than, EVs are in many cases cheaper over their lifetime than gas-powered vehicles today. They’re easier to maintain, as well. And while just about applications, like long-distance trucking, tin pose difficulties for battery-powered vehicles, post delivery is the perfect setup for EVs, with trucks returning to a fundamental location where they tin can be charged overnight.
Finally, the means saw the lite. But it took a piece. Let’s take a look back at this saga, starting from the beginning.
- January 2021: USA President Joe Biden signs an executive gild calling for plans to electrify the federal vehicle fleet.
- February 2021: USPS awards a contract to Oshkosh Defense to brand “Next Generation Delivery Vehicles.” USPS head Louis DeJoy reveals in Congressional testimony that simply ten% of the vehicles would live EVs, citing high costs.
- March 2021: Criticism of the USPS too its design starts. In following months, lawmakers talk over getting additional funding to the way to aid it electrify.
- Oct 2021: Biden proposes a $1.75 trillion spending packet that includes $vi billion inward funding to assistance the USPS buy EVs. Talks stall on the funding
- February 2022: Following another executive guild on electrifying the federal fleet, EPA in addition to the White House Council on Environmental Quality both mail letters to the USPS, urging it to reconsider plans and comprise more EVs into its time to come fleet.
- March 2022: The USPS places its first social club for new delivery vehicles. Of the l,000 vehicles, the means says more than xx% volition be electrical, beating the before score of 10%.
- Apr 2022: California Attorney General Rob Bonta files a case against the USPS, contention that the Postal Service vehicles pollute the air inwards communities where they work. In total, fifteen other states, together with a few major cities, dorsum the arrange.
- July 2022: The USPS over again revises its plans. Of the l,000 vehicles from Oshkosh Defense, at least l% will live electric. Including plans to buy other new vehicles, the agency “anticipates” that at least twoscore% of the full novel vehicles volition live electrical.
- August 2022: The Inflation Reduction Act passes together with is signed into police force, setting aside $three billion for the USPS to buy zippo-emissions vehicles as well as make charging infrastructure.
- December 2022: The USPS releases a argument saying that of the lx,000 vehicles inward the contract, at to the lowest degree 45,000 volition be electric, including all deliveries subsequently 2026. EVs triumph.
In the interest of y’all finishing this newsletter before the new yr, that’second not a comprehensive timeline, simply it gives you an idea of how long a journey this has been. What a saga!
A caveat: this commitment is entirely for novel vehicle purchases. Gas guzzlers purchased inwards the next few years could remain on the road for years to come, so don’t await a fully zero-emissions fleet anytime before long.
Regardless, as the twelvemonth winds to a close, I mean nosotros tin count the USPS going electrical equally a win for climate action and mail service delivery alike.
A expect back at 2022
This has been quite the yr, both for Tech Review’s climate coverage in addition to for the climate world in general. So permit’sec accept a quick look back at just about highlights from the year.
Innovation is alive and good. We lay together a listing of x Breakthrough Technologies every year, in addition to it’s always ane of my favorite things to work on. Released inward February, our 2022 TR10 listing included three (!) climate items.
- Iron batteries on the grid – Low-toll energy storage will help rest out the grid when intermittent supplies similar solar together with air current aren’t running.
- Practical fusion reactors – Startups are making progress on a novel generation of minor, (relatively) inexpensive fusion reactors. (They’re pretty different from the reactor at the centre of recent fusion news.)
- Carbon removal factory – Direct air capture can aid us clean up just about carbon dioxide emissions that nosotros’ve already emitted.
Our 2023 list is coming out really presently…whatsoever guesses on what we included?
2022 was a bang-up twelvemonth for climate startups in addition to enterprise capital letter. But the prospects for roughly technologies might not be then rosy.
- Cheap synthetic fuels sound also adept to live truthful. They might be.
- Ditto with using kelp to fight climate alter.
- Electric planes could too take trouble taking off.
On the positive side of things, the Inflation Reduction Act passed, setting aside an unprecedented $370 billion inward climate as well as free energy spending.
We saw unprecedented climate disasters this summer in addition to autumn. Flooding inwards Islamic Republic of Pakistan killed over a 1000 people as well as displaced millions. Heat waves in Communist China exposed weaknesses in EV charging infrastructure there.
But along alongside the disasters, climate activeness gained momentum as well, including an understanding on climate finance for vulnerable nations at the United Nations climate conference.
Finally, this yr nosotros launched The Spark, where nosotros’ve talked nigh close to of the most exciting advances inward climate tech! I feel like and so much has happened since our get-go edition, where I took a expect within a battery recycling facility. We’ve covered everything from molten table salt batteries to UN climate conferences, from genetically-tweaked crops capturing carbon to novel plastic recycling methods. Stick about to run across what exciting intelligence we’ll go into inward 2023!
Keeping up alongside climate
Startup Kodama Systems plans to accept wildfire-fueling biomass and bury it hugger-mugger to capture carbon. The company raised $6.half-dozen meg from Bill Gates’second Breakthrough Energy Ventures too other investors. (MIT Technology Review)
A UN coming together on biodiversity reached an agreement this week. Delegates agreed to protect 30% of the most crucial land in addition to H2O for biodiversity by 2030. Over 200 countries joined the agreement. Notably absent? The USA. (Associated Press)
→ Funding in the understanding is some other of the conference’s central outcomes. (CarbonBrief)
An offshore wind developer is delaying a project inward Massachusetts, citing ascension costs. The act could affect ane of the country’sec largest offshore wind farms. (Boston Globe)
→ California’s recent offshore current of air auction could live even costlier, since turbines at that place volition postulate to float. (MIT Technology Review
Soup throwers, range anxiety, too of class, IRA. Check out these as well as Grist’sec other picks for climate words of the year. (Grist)
Talks are failing in negotiations to reopen a central aluminum establish inwards Washington. The movement? There’sec not plenty cheap renewable energy to get around. (Washington Post)
An NPR investigation tied utilities inward Alabama in addition to Florida to news sites giving them favorable coverage. The sites’ criticisms included clean free energy policies. (NPR)
California passed new rules limiting what customers can become paid for electricity generated by their rooftop solar panels. Solar advocates argue the drastic changes will slow increase inward the solar manufacture. (Canary Media)
→ The land is already seeing a tricky outcome when it comes to solar: the more you lot make, the less helpful additional capacity tends to be for the grid. (MIT Technology Review)
A novel facility inwards Sweden will function electricity, hydrogen, together with captured carbon dioxide to brand methanol, an choice transportation fuel. (Bloomberg)