Watchdog group raises questions over bill to replace 50,000 postal vehicles

WASHINGTON — As President Joe Biden signed a new bill into law that will bring major changes to the U.S. Postal Service, there are questions about new delivery vehicles the Postal Service purchased.

The Postal Service wants to put tens of thousands of new trucks on the road to deliver your mail.

Some of them will be electric vehicles, but now there are serious questions as to why the plan is costing $6 billion.

A report from the Government Accountability Office raises questions about how the Postal Service came up with certain costs and benefits when creating the replacement plan, which includes 50,000 new trucks – 10,000 of which will be electric.

It says the agency overstated maintenance costs of electric vehicles and relied on gas prices that don’t reflect the current spike, saying the Postal Service used a gas price that’s almost $2 per gallon less than the current national average.

RELATED NEWS:

On Capitol Hill, lawmakers are looking into the Postal Service’s contract to replace its huge fleet of mail delivery trucks with a mix of gas and electric vehicles.

This week, they heard from the government watchdog group warning about red flags.

“Our preliminary analysis of the model used raises question about the way certain assumptions estimate the cost and benefit of the gas and electric vehicles,” said Jill Naamane with the General Services Administration.

But those with the Postal Service defended their plan, saying it’s evolving despite lawmakers’ calls for a new plan.

“We’ve committed to making updates as conditions change in the market, so I don’t think a new analysis is required,” said Victoria Stephen with the U.S. Postal Service.

The Environmental Protection Agency has called for the Postal Service to use more electric vehicles.

But the agency said it’s already ordering 10,000 of them and that the bottom line is they’re too costly.

RELATED NEWS: