Analysis Challenges USPS EV Environmental Study - Fuel Smarts

Evaluation Challenges USPS EV Environmental Examine – Gasoline Smarts

A brand new College of Michigan evaluation challenges the USPS over its environmental impression examine outcomes.

Picture: USPS

A brand new examine by the College of Michigan (U-M) finds that switching to an all-electric mail supply fleet would result in far better reductions in greenhouse fuel emissions than beforehand estimated by the United States Postal Service in its Environmental Impression Assertion (EIS). The assertion was ready as required by the Nationwide Environmental Coverage Act to put out the environmental impression of the USPS’ next-generation supply automobiles (NGDVs) it’s buying from OshKosh Protection.

In its assertion revealed in January, the Postal Service in contrast the anticipated environmental impacts of a supply fleet with 10% battery-electric automobiles (BEVs) and 90% gasoline-powered vehicles (known as the ICEV state of affairs) to a fleet with 100% BEVs (known as the BEV state of affairs).

The Postal Service's NGDVs can either be powered by an internal combustion engine, or by an electric battery.  -  Photo: USPS

The Postal Service’s NGDVs can both be powered by an inside combustion engine, or by an electrical battery.

Picture: USPS

U-M Examine Factors Out Discrepancies in USPS EIS

U-M researchers performed a cradle-to-grave greenhouse fuel emissions evaluation—often known as a life-cycle evaluation, or LCA—of the 2 eventualities and reached totally different conclusions than the Postal Service did, in response to a press launch.

The U-M group decided that:

  • Lifetime greenhouse fuel emissions underneath the ICEV state of affairs could be 15% greater than estimated by the Postal Service, whereas emissions tied to the BEV state of affairs could be a minimum of 8% decrease than estimated by the company.
  • When anticipated enhancements to electrical automobiles and future electrical-grid decarbonization are factored in, a completely electrical USPS supply fleet would lead to as much as 63% decrease greenhouse fuel emissions than the company estimated, over the lifetime of the fleet.
  • An all-electric fleet would scale back lifetime greenhouse fuel emissions by 14.7 to 21.4 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents when in comparison with the ICEV state of affairs. The USPS estimate was 10.3 million metric tons.

In February, the Postal Service introduced it had accomplished its environmental overview and was shifting ahead with its plan to amass as much as 165,000 NGDVs, with a minimum of 10% of the automobiles being BEVs and the remainder being gasoline-powered automobiles. The plan was meant to be versatile to permit for extra BEVs if extra funding grew to become obtainable. The USPS then confronted backlash from the Biden Administration, in addition to a lawsuit from 16 states, the District of Columbia, and a number of other environmental teams. The company then pledged to impress a minimum of 40% of its new supply fleet, explaining that its modernization plan allowed for the acquisition of extra BEVs.

The authors of the brand new examine argue the principle causes their findings differ considerably from the USPS outcomes are:

  • The U-M examine contains greenhouse gases generated all through a supply car’s lifetime, together with the mining and manufacturing of supplies, car meeting, car operations and repair (often known as use-phase emissions) and end-of-life disposal. The Postal Service evaluation seemed solely at use-phase emissions.
  • The brand new examine contains projections of how electrical-grid emissions are more likely to change over the estimated 20-year service lifetime of next-generation supply automobiles, as renewables more and more exchange fossil fuels. The USPS evaluation didn’t handle this issue, which is named grid decarbonization.
  • The U-M examine makes use of a extra correct technique to calculate car working emissions, one which depends on gas financial system and gas combustion depth charges. The USPS evaluation of projected working emissions was primarily based on estimated per-mile emissions charges.

Examine senior creator Greg Keoleian stated the brand new findings counsel the Postal Service must be deploying electrical supply vehicles at a fee a lot greater than 40%. The failure to take action exposes an absence of sustainability management by the company, he stated. He pointed to efforts by personal fleet operators like FedEx, UPS, Amazon, and Walmart which have extra formidable electrification and decarbonization targets than the present USPS buy plan.

“Every fuel car bought locks in infrastructure for a minimum of 20 years, which can trigger the federal authorities to fall behind personal car fleets and can drive future greenhouse fuel emissions that could possibly be dramatically diminished by better electrical supply car deployment,” stated Keoleian, who’s the director of the U-M Heart for Sustainable Methods.

Concern About Value over Greenhouse Fuel Emissions

In the end, the USPS resolution about NGDVs was primarily based extra on price than climate-altering greenhouse fuel emissions, Keoleian argued. The company estimated that an all-electric supply fleet would have a complete price of possession about $3.3 billion greater than a fleet with simply 10% electrical automobiles.

Nevertheless, the just lately signed U.S. Inflation Discount Act (IRA) contains $3 billion to assist the U.S. Postal Service meet zero-emission car targets: $1.29 billion for the acquisition of zero-emission supply automobiles and $1.71 billion for infrastructure to assist these automobiles. The extra funds will doubtless cut back cost-based objections to a completely electrical postal supply fleet.

U-M’s evaluation got here on the heels of a bill-signing ceremony for the IRA earlier this month. The USPS has the nation’s largest civilian car fleet, with greater than 212,000 automobiles. It typically receives no tax {dollars} for working bills and depends on the sale of postage, merchandise, and companies to fund its operations. Postmaster Common Louis DeJoy has beforehand pointed to lack of sufficient funding as the rationale for not buying extra BEVs.

The authors of the U-M examine say the mail company’s estimate of a $3.3 billion price financial savings for the ICEV state of affairs didn’t account for the local weather and public well being damages related to continued use of fossil fuel-powered automobiles.

“Given the lengthy lifetimes anticipated of those automobiles, committing to such a course contradicts U.S. local weather coverage and environmental justice targets, squanders a possibility to deploy BEVs in an excellent use case, exposes an absence of sustainability management, and jeopardizes our capability to fulfill nationwide and worldwide local weather targets,” the examine authors wrote.

Authorities Fleet reached out to the Postal Service for an announcement in response to the U-M examine. A spokesperson pointed to the July announcement in regards to the USPS’ modernization plan, which can change the scope of its EIS, resulting in an up to date EIS that addresses the modifications from the modernization plan. That is as a result of the EIS launched in January is now not updated.

The work was supported by Ford Motor Co. by means of a Ford-College of Michigan Alliance Mission Award, by the Accountable Battery Coalition and by the U-M College for Setting and Sustainability.

In December, President Joe Biden issued an govt order asking the U.S. authorities to purchase solely EVs for the federal fleet by 2035. Whereas the USPS was exempt from the order, a spokesperson has beforehand advised Authorities Fleet that the Postal Service hopes to observe the identical precedent.

Initially posted on Authorities Fleet

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