Chrysler U.S. Postal Service Minivan - Click above for high-res image gallery
We haven't heard anything about the 250 electric Chrysler Town and Country mini-vans joining the United States Postal Service (USPS) fleet since the Earth Day announcement but that doesn't mean sleet, snow or gloom of night has kept the mail peoples from considering the benefits that electric vehicles (EVs) may offer in the 21st century. Though the history of EVs delivering our mail stretches back to the beginning of the last century (check out this historical overview) and as recently as 2003, when a small fleet of electric Ford Rangers and Chrysler's original EPIC mini-vans were employed, the USPS is studying the issue again at the urging of Congressman José E. Serrano. This time, however, the benefits of the coming vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology has been taken into account.
Among the findings in the report on the electrification of delivery vehicles (available here as a PDF) is the shortening of the internal rate of return (IRR) time period made possible by selling back power via V2G. It concludes that the $76,164,000 of electron-sharing income generated from 3,000 vehicles over a 10-year period could speed the IRR by 15 percent, reaching payback in 5.6 years. The benefit has inspired the report to suggest that EV roll-out should occur in areas ready to offer V2G services.