(Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Postal Service said it could buy more electric vehicles if more funding were available, following Biden administration criticism of the agency’s plan to replace its fleet mainly with gas-powered delivery trucks.
The Postal Service plan includes an initial order for 5,000 electric vehicles and flexibility for more “should additional funding become available,” Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said in a news release Sunday. “Absent such funding, we must make fiscally responsible decisions.”
The Postal Service last year awarded a 10-year contract to Oshkosh Corp. for as many as 165,000 delivery vehicles. Those would get better mileage than existing delivery vans and include safety measures such as automatic braking and a driver air bag.
The Environmental Protection Agency and the White House Council on Environmental Quality last week said they are pushing for more electric vehicles to reduce the carbon footprint of one of the world’s largest government fleets.
The Postal Service is conducting “a bald-faced attempt to get the taxpayer to pay for electric vehicles” when the agency by law is supposed to be self-funding, Paul Steidler, a senior fellow at the Lexington Institute, which advocates for limited government, said in an interview. The service could fund more electric vehicles without extra help from taxpayers, Steidler said.
The Postal Service generally receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.
The U.S. House plans to vote on a Postal Service reform act in the coming days.
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