The United States Postal Service (USPS) announced Tuesday that it will purchase 9,250 electric delivery vans from Ford, roughly two weeks after the American auto giant announced a multibillion-dollar partnership with a company allegedly tied to the Chinese Communist Party.
The USPS anticipates that the vehicles will be delivered from Ford’s Kansas City, Missouri, manufacturing plant by December 2022, in addition to 14,000 charging stations which will be provided by three different suppliers, according to the announcement. Ford has drawn criticism from Democratic Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, in addition to numerous Republicans for its partnership with the Chinese firm Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd. (CATL) — which allegedly has close ties with the Chinese government — to develop a multibillion-dollar plant for electric vehicle batteries in Michigan, The New York Times reported.
“Our announcement demonstrates the actual concrete steps the Postal Service is taking in implementing BEV technology into our delivery operations,” the USPS told the Daily Caller News Foundation when asked if it was appropriate to purchase electric vehicles from Ford given its connections to China, and the process by which Ford was selected. “We have an urgent need to replace some of our vehicles as soon as possible, and in those instances we will look to obtain vehicles that can be provided to us expeditiously, recognizing that there are a limited amount of BEV options currently available and that the charging infrastructure buildout will also take some time.”
The announcement states that there was a “competitive search,” and that the vehicles would be “domestically sourced” and “100 percent electric.” The USPS anticipates spending $9.6 billion on vehicle investments, including $3 billion from President Joe Biden’s signature Inflation Reduction Act, which offered subsidies in part designed to reduce U.S. reliance on Chinese electric vehicle batteries and boost domestic green tech.
The USPS had previously announced plans in early 2022 to purchase up to 165,000 primarily gas-powered delivery vans from Oshkosh Corp, before pressure from Democratic politicians and cash from the Inflation Reduction Act prompted the agency to alter its plans, Bloomberg reported. The agency will still be purchasing 9,250 gas-powered vehicles to “fill the urgent need for vehicles.”
“We are moving forward with our plans to simultaneously improve our service, reduce our cost, grow our revenue, and improve the working environment for our employees,” said Louis DeJoy, Postmaster General. “Electrification of our vehicle fleet is now an important component of these initiatives.”
Ford did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.
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