The USPS says it needs about $6 billion to replace its vehicles and about $25 billion overall to save itself from financial ruin. Well, if you scroll way, way down in the Moving Forward Act to Division I, Sec. 50001, you find this:
Authorizes $25 billion in funding for the Postal Service for the modernization of postal infrastructure and operations, including through capital expenditures to purchase delivery vehicles, processing equipment, and other goods. The section reserves $6 billion for the purchase of new vehicles.
Then Sec. 50002 gets more specific about how the $6 billion for vehicles must be used:
Requires the Postal Service to use any of the authorized funds to purchase electric or zero-emission vehicles to replace its current right-hand-drive vehicles to the maximum extent practicable. However, at least 75 percent of the new fleet must be such vehicles. The section would also require that the fleet of medium and heavy-duty trucks consist of at least 30 percent of electric vehicles by 2030 and that any vehicle purchased after 2040 be electric or zero-emission.
A minimum of 75 percent electric vehicles: that’s awesome. Beyond the immediate health benefits and the long-term savings for the USPS, this would be an incredible marketing coup for electric vehicles generally.
The Postal Service is the US public’s favorite government agency. It is a friendly, reliable presence in every community in the nation. If the familiar, boxy mail trucks were replaced with electric trucks, every American who interacts with a postal carrier — which is nearly every American — would have a chance to see an electric vehicle with their own eyes, in a workaday, non-political context.
It would do more to raise awareness of electric vehicles than any conceivable amount of marketing. And there’s evidence that electric vehicles, much like solar panels, are “contagious,” meaning that people who see them in their own community are more likely to buy them. The Moving Forward Act would spread EVs like a contagion across the country (a good contagion for once).