A USPS “Upgrade”

The USPS is being pressured by President Joe Biden (D) and his EPA to go greenie-er in its vehicle upgrade. So,

The proposed action, which we are evaluating under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), includes an initial order plan for 5,000 electric vehicles, and the flexibility to increase the number of electric vehicles introduced should additional funding become available.

The US Postal Service wants to convert 10% of its 230,000 vehicle fleet to battery-operated “in the coming years,” but says going all electric would cost an additional $3.3 billion beyond its normal budget of $6.3 billion.

What jumped out at me, though, was this comparison between the replacement vehicles for which the USPS has contracted and its present fleet:

In response to a report that the NGDV [Next Generation Delivery Vehicle] only achieves a fuel efficiency of 8.6 mpg in typical use, compared to the Grumman’s 8.2 mpg, the USPS pointed out that the comparison was flawed because it was conducted with the NGDV using its air conditioning system, which the LLV [Long Live Vehicle] does not have. With it turned off, the NGDV achieves 14.7 mpg, according to the USPS.

A 70% increase in mileage with the a/c turned off? That seems to me a poorly designed air conditioning system, even with the windows open for mail delivery every few feet. That just means the compressor is running all the time; it shouldn’t be imposing that big a load on the engine. And: what’s that bump going to do to the battery in the electric NGDV, both its miles between charges and its charge-discharge lifetime?

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