Managing the Financial Side of Commercial Fleets

USPS Working with GM to Test Alt-Fuel Vehicle Replacements for 195,000-Unit Fleet

July 22, 2008

IRVINE, CA – On July 23, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) will outline its strategy for converting to an environmentally friendly, non-petroleum-based, alternative-fuel vehicle fleet to replace 195,000 delivery vehicles and will announce an alternative-fuel vehicle test, according to

The announcement will come at 10 a.m. at the Irvine Post Office in Irvine, CA.

On Jul. 23, General Motors will turn over the keys of a Hydrogen Fuel Cell (HFC) vehicle to the USPS for testing in a mail delivery environment. HFC vehicles are unique in that they are battery powered and have no ill effects on the environment and their only emission is water. The USPS' director of R&D will outline the strategy for testing alternate fuel vehicles and for converting to a green delivery fleet.

A one-cent increase in a gallon of fuel annually adds $8 million to USPS expenses. Fuel costs last year were $1.7 billion. This year's will increase by $600 million.

The USPS maintains the nation's largest civilian fleet with nearly 220,000 vehicles to support 37,000 Post Offices staffed by more than 785,000 employees who annually collect, process, and deliver nearly half the world's mail volume — 212 billion pieces — to 148 million addresses six days a week. Of that 220,000, 195,000 are vehicles often seen in neighborhoods delivering mail. The USPS began testing alternative fuel vehicles beginning in 1899 with battery power. Of today's 220,000 fleet, 43,000 are alternative fuel capable.

An independent federal agency, the U.S. Postal Service is the only delivery service that visits every address in the nation — 148 million homes and businesses. It has 37,000 retail locations and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to pay for operating expenses, not tax dollars. The Postal Service has annual revenues of $75 billion and delivers nearly half the world's mail.


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