USPS adds FFVs to its fleet

By Erin Voegele | July 08, 2009
Report posted July 15, 2009, at 12:00 p.m. CST

The U.S. Postal Service recently announced it will add 1,000 E85 flexible fuel vehicles (FFVs) to its fleet as part of a one-for-one replacement of 6,500 aging vehicles at postal offices and facilities across the country. The remaining 5,500 vehicles will be replaced with gasoline/electric hybrid vehicles and fuel-efficient, four-cylinder vehicles.

The new vehicles are being purchased by the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), which is covering all purchase and distribution expenses. There is no cost to the Postal Service for the vehicles. "The Postal Service started taking delivery from the GSA this month, and we expect the entire delivery of 6,500 vehicles to last through the month of August," USPS spokeswoman Darlene Casey said.

With approximately 220,000 vehicles, the USPS operates and maintains the largest civilian fleet in the country. The GSA purchase will bring the total number of alternative fuel-capable vehicles in the USPS fleet to more than 43,000. According to Casey, 37,000 of those 43,000 alternative fuel capable vehicles are FFVs.

Casey said that the USPS works to place the fleet's FFV in areas of the country that have adequate E85 infrastructure. "The Postal Service purchased more than 1 million gallons of alternative fuel and increased our E85 consumption by 40 percent between 2006 and 2007," she said.

The USPS has increased alternative fuel use by 41 percent since 2006, and plans to reduce petroleum use by 20 percent over the next five years. Replacing aging vehicles with more fuel-efficient and alternative fuel-capable vehicles is key to reaching that goal.

"This is a unique opportunity for the Postal Service to continue to work on our goals for improved fuel economy, greenhouse gas reductions, and on our position as an environmental leader," said Wayne Corey, manager of Vehicle Operations, who is overseeing the vehicle delivery.

The USPS has been honored with more than 70 major environmental awards, including 40 White House Closing the Circle awards for environmental stewardship and the 2009 Climate Change Champion of the Year Award for efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.