Develop Next Generation Postal LLV Using Stimulus Money for Electric Vehicles?

First, here is a summary of paper presented by Michael Ravnitzky, Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) delivered at the Advanced Workshop in Regulation and Competition, Center for Research in Regulated Industries – Rutgers University 28th Annual Eastern Conference Skytop, Pennsylvania May 13–15, 2009. The full paper can be found on the PRC’s website by clicking here

Electric Drive Vehicles For Mail Delivery: Identifying Key Issues


Electrification of the postal fleet should be an integral part of the nation’s energy goals. Most daily mail delivery routes are short, repetitive and well-defined, and include many stops, making the postal delivery fleet a prime application for electric drive vehicles. The electrification of the postal fleet could significantly reduce gasoline and maintenance expenses while reducing the fleet’s carbon footprint.

Furthermore, the postal operator can earn substantial revenue in the wholesale electric markets by aggregating and offering on the wholesale electric market access to ancillary electric power from the vehicle batteries. Off-peak charging, grid operator control of off-peak charging, and particularly the availability of aggregated storage capacity would enhance the ability of the nation’s electrical grid to incorporate renewable sources of electricity, sources such as wind and solar power which tend to be variable in output.

Also excerpts from a powerpoint presentation by prepared Erik Toomre of Mobility Future LLC. The full presentation can be found by clicking here


The USPS has demonstrated leadership with the size and mix of its alternative fuel fleet.

It is in the national interest to make a highly efficient all-electric postal vehicle.

Use stimulus money to create, test and validate “ideal” electric LLV to set specifications for lowest lifecycle cost replacement LLV in 2015.

Timing is Perfect to use Stimulus $ for USPS Development & Trial prior to Mass Replacement


Source: “US Postal Service Fleet Planning and Management”  – Presentation to GovEnergy 2007

Planned LLV replacement beginning in 2015 allows sufficient time to develop and validate key technologies for cost-effective next-generation electric LLV’s

Snapshot of Electric LLV Possibilities

1.“Fuel” operating cost — close to parity in 2008 and then lower cost per mile as batteries continue to improve.  [Based on battery depreciation cost plus electricity vs. gas cost per mile]

2.100-mile per gallon (equivalent) economy or better in urban driving

3. Battery module interchangeability and an architecture that does not rely on a sole-source battery supplier and allows additional modules to be added when greater range is required

4. No compromise on LLV mission requirements

5. ~ 76% reduction in CO2 emissions:

Current LLV Fleet generates over 600K metric tons of CO2 per year.  [Based on 142K LLV’s * 5K mi/yr * (1/10.4 mpg) * 19.4 lbs CO2 per gallon gas burned * (1 metric ton/2204.6 lbs)]

All electric LLV fleet would generate ~144K metric tons of CO2 per year.  [Based on 142K eLLV’s * 5K mi/yr * (337 Wh/mi) * 1.33 lbs CO2 per kWh [2007 U.S. average in electric utility sector] * (1 metric ton/2204.6 lbs)].