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Charged up and ready to deliver

We’ve been plugging in for more than a hundred years.

Electric vehicles might be one of the hottest things now in green technology, but the Postal Service has been charging up to deliver since the days when the horse was the primary mode of transport.

Winton electic automobile from 1899.

A Winton electric automobile used in Cleveland, Ohio in 1899.

We tested an electric vehicle for mail collection in July 1899 in Buffalo, NY. It only took an hour-and-a-half to collect mail from 40 boxes, less than half the time it took the horse-powered wagon.

That was just the beginning. New versions of electric vehicles were tested and put into service. Eventually, as we all know, gasoline-power models dominated the market. But the Postal Service continued to experiment with electric vehicles in its quest for efficient, cost-effective delivery vehicles.

Electric delivery truck currently in use.

A modern electric delivery vehicle.

Today, the Postal Service uses a variety of alternative-fuel vehicles in its fleet. And, as always, electric-powered transportation is part of the mix.

In New York City, the Postal Service has had 30 electric 2-ton vehicles on the street since 2001. They were recently joined in Long Island, NY, by two 2-ton hybrid electric vehicles.

For a detailed history of Postal Service electric vehicles, please see Electric Vehicles in the Postal Service.