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Louis DeJoy says USPS wants to order 5,000 electric postal vehicles

U.S. Postmaster General Louis Dejoy speaks during a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing on February 24, 2021. He said this week the postal service wants to order 5,000 new electric vehicles for letter carriers. File Photo by Graeme Jennings/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/966f98e08ae3cddf493d3a7326109cfb/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
U.S. Postmaster General Louis Dejoy speaks during a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing on February 24, 2021. He said this week the postal service wants to order 5,000 new electric vehicles for letter carriers. File Photo by Graeme Jennings/UPI | License Photo

Feb. 8 (UPI) -- U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said this week the U.S. Postal Service is proposing a purchase of 5,000 electric vehicles as it starts to update its aging fleet with more environmentally friendly options.

The Postal Service faced criticism for not including more electric vehicles in its current plan, which calls for 90% of the fleet to be gas-powered vehicles, CNN reported.

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DeJoy said the USPS would like to order more electric vehicles but additional funds would have to become available.

"Absent such funding, we must make fiscally responsible decisions that result in the needed introduction of safer and environmentally cleaner vehicles for the men and women who deliver America's mail," he said in a statement Sunday.

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The postal service said it has made its leading engineering, logistics and labor staff available to key federal agencies to determine what is needed from an environmental standpoint for its new delivery vehicles.

DeJoy said he hopes that many of the vehicles can be delivered by next year but added that financial restraints continue to hamper the agency.

"When you're an independent government entity running billion-dollar annual losses, and with a Congressional mandate to operate in a financially sustainable manner, we are compelled to act prudently in the interests of the American public," DeJoy said.

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"However, that responsibility should not be mistaken for an ambivalent commitment to operating a cleaner postal vehicle fleet for our country."

DeJoy said that Congress is aware of the postal service's financial limitations in getting electric vehicles on the road and the service will continue to operate in a manner to move toward getting the new vehicles on the road.

The service said electric postal vehicles an internal combustion engine would be more fuel-efficient as compared to the current ones despite being larger. The new vehicle would provide the postal service carriers with numerous modern safety features including 360-degree cameras, automatic front and rear braking, and a driver airbag.

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