Chrysler U.S. Postal Service Minivan - Click above for high-res gallery

As part of the U.S. General Services Administration's recent $210 million purchase of new vehicles from Chrysler, Ford and General Motors, the U.S. Postal Service is set to replace some 6,500 vehicles from its current fleet with more fuel efficient models. Of that number, 1,000 of the new vehicles are E-85 ethanol-capable and 900 are hybrids. The other 4,600 are conventional cars powered by four-cylinder gasoline-powered engines.

The U.S. Postal service currently operates a huge fleet of nearly 220,000 vehicles and will drive those cars an amazing 1.2 billion miles this year. After the 1,900 new hybrids and flex-fuel vehicles provided by the GSA, the USPS will have a total of 43,000 such machines in its fleet.

In addition, the USPS is currently trialing two four-generation Chevrolet Equinox hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, 300 vehicles powered by biodiesel, 35 delivery vehicles in Florida using propane and a series of electric transporters from T3 Motion in Florida, California and Arizona. Sometime soon, the USPS should begin using a fleet of 250 battery-powered minivans from Chrysler. Click past the break for the full press release.


[Source: USPS]

PRESS RELEASE:

U.S. Postal Service to Receive Alternative Fuel Vehicles

Agency to Participate in Federal Fleet Upgrade Strategy

WASHINGTON, July 9, 2009; One of the greenest civilian fleets in the world just got a little greener.

The U.S. Postal Service will conduct a one-for-one replacement of 6,500 vehicles with 1,000 E-85 ethanol-capable and 900 gasoline/electric hybrid vehicles to its delivery fleet, part of a vehicle purchase by the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA). The balance of the GSA purchase for the Postal Service will be fuel-efficient, four-cylinder vehicles, which will replace aging vehicles at postal offices and facilities across the country, as the Postal Service continues to reduce the size of its fleet.

There was no cost to the Postal Service for the vehicles. GSA bore all purchase and distribution expenses.

At nearly 220,000, the Postal Service operates and maintains the largest civilian fleet in the country. The 1,900 vehicles from GSA will bring the total number of alternate fuel-capable vehicles in the Postal Service fleet to more than 43,000.

"With our fleet traveling more than 1.2 billion miles a year, the Postal Service consistently looks for ways to reduce the environmental footprint that results from visiting every home and business in America six days a week," said Sam Pulcrano, vice president, Sustainability. "The GSA fleet upgrade program will help us continue these strategies."

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

Long a leader in sustainable practices, the Postal Service 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.

Throughout its history, the U.S. Postal Service has championed every new mode of transportation in its ongoing effort to provide prompt, reliable mail delivery. From horse-drawn wagons to alternative fuel vehicles, the Postal Service has taken steps to reduce the environmental impact of its fleet, including:

-- Delivering mail on a trial basis using three-wheel (T3) electric
vehicles in Florida, California and Arizona. The T3 is powered by two
rechargeable batteries, has zero gas emissions and costs 4 cents a
mile to operate.
-- Testing two fourth generation fuel-cell Chevrolet Equinox hydrogen
fuel-cell vehicles, which are delivering mail in Irvine, CA, and in
Washington, DC.
-- Using 35 delivery vehicles in Florida that run on propane fuel.

-- Running 300 vehicles nationwide that are powered by biodiesel fuel.

And the Postal Service delivers mail the most energy efficient way possible: it's walked. This "fleet of feet" delivers mail door-to-door and neighbor-to neighbor by walking almost 10,000 mail delivery routes a day.

An independent federal agency, the U.S. Postal Service is the only delivery service that reaches every address in the nation, 149 million residences, businesses and Post Office Boxes, six days a week. It has 34,000 retail locations and relies on the sale of postage, products and services, not tax dollars, to pay for operating expenses. Named the Most Trusted Government Agency five consecutive years by the Ponemon Institute, the Postal Service has annual revenue of $75 billion and delivers nearly half the world's mail.

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