USPS Faces $11 Billion Gas-guzzler Lawsuit

USPS Faces $11 Billion Gas-guzzler Lawsuit

future USPS truck

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy thought he’d struck a blow against environmentalists when he ordered $11B in gas-guzzling trucks from OshKosh. Now, a new class-action lawsuit may undo that deal.

The familiar Grumman-built “LLV” postal trucks that have been in use since the Clinton Administration are well past their sell-by date, and many electric vehicle advocates had hoped that the next round of postal truck updates would bring clean-running EVs into the fleet to help spur adoption and improve the lives of USPS employees and customers alike. DeJoy— often accused of playing partisan politics in his role at the USPS— passed over EVs in favor of internal-combustion powered vans built by US military contractors OshKosh Defense.

The deal saw the USPS committed to purchasing 165,000 Ford-powered delivery vehicles from OshKosh in a deal that totals more than $11 billion up front— but much, much more over time. That’s because of one key number that was under-reported when the initial deal was made. That number is: 8.6.


Why That ‘8.6’ is Important

AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes; from NPR.

That 8.6 is vitally significant to the new OshKosh delivery vehicles, because that’s how many miles per gallon they’ll get once they’re in service. At that rate, they’ll burn more than 110 millions of gallons of gasoline, even with DeJoy’s cuts in service.

Now, fully 16 states have joined forces with a growing list of environmental organizations that filed lawsuits in New York and California, alleging that the USPS, under DeJoy’s leadership, violated part of the National Environmental Policy Act by selecting the OshKosh Defense-built vehicle before conducting the proper environmental impact studies.

If the lawsuit succeeds, the deal is as good as dead, with a battery-powered alternative being very likely chosen as the LLV’s successor rather sooner than later.



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