2010 Sustainability Report
Leaner | greener | faster | smarter

Our network | Transportation fuel

Increasing alternative fuel use

The Postal Service has a longstanding tradition of testing and using more effective methods of transportation, from the Pony Express to airplanes. We introduced the first electric delivery vehicle to our fleet in 1899. In New York City, we’ve used 30 electric 2-ton vehicles since 2001.

USPS operates the nation’s largest fleet of alternative fuel-capable vehicles — more than 44,000 — that can run on electricity, ethanol, compressed natural gas, liquid propane and bio-diesel.

From FY 2009 to FY 2010, we replaced 6,558 older gasoline-powered vehicles with more fuel-efficient ones. We also increased our use of alternative fuels in postal vehicles to 2.2 million GGE, a 9 percent increase from FY 2009. That is a 133 percent increase in use of alternative fuels since our FY 2005 baseline and far exceeds our FY 2015 federal agency target of 10 percent.

Tests are under way on a hybrid electric step van from Azure Dynamics. It joins an existing hybrid electric fleet of 10 Ford Escapes, 533 Chevrolet Malibu and 370 Ford Fusion vehicles.

Five companies are participating in a pilot program to convert USPS gasoline long-life vehicles to battery power. Each company has developed its own electric prototype for testing in summer 2011.

USPS also delivers mail using one of the most energy-efficient ways possible: walking. Our carrier “fleet of feet” delivers mail door-to-door by walking nearly 9,000 mail routes every day.

We also have nearly 80,000 “park and loop” routes where carriers deliver mail on foot after driving to neighborhoods.