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article imageU.S. postal service tests electric trucks in California

By Tim Sandle     Feb 8, 2019 in Technology
The U.S. Postal Service has announced it is to add seven more electric delivery trucks to its already established fleet in Fresno and Stockton, California. This is to address environmental concerns with air quality.
The area of Fresno and Stockton, California, located in the Central Valley, is known for its poor air quality. The geological nature of Central Valley acts as a pool for pollutants (what's called an inversion layer). The pollutants are produced by the region’s roughly 3.5 million residents, its industry and its large agricultural community. To help to address this and to play its part in lowering vehicles emissions, the U.S. Postal Service have been using electric vehicles to help to deliver letters and packages within the region.
Based on good performance metrics, the post service is set to introduce another wave of electric vehicles. This is in the form of seven 1.5-ton delivery trucks. The trucks were originally built to run off fossil fuels (each trucks is based on a Ford E-450 chassis). The vehicles have now been converted to electric power, with the change over undertaken by Motiv Power, a Silicon Valley energy conversion company. Motiv Power Systems is a manufacturer of all-electric powertrain control systems for commercial vehicles.
Commenting on the conversion, Jim Castelaz, CEO of Motiv Power Systems states: "I think that if you look at kind of why is now maybe an inflection point for the USPS–and for other fleets in adoption of electric–it’s because battery prices are coming down so substantially and the reliability and quality is going up so quickly, thanks to passenger EV adoption."
The trucks will not only have an ecological impact, there are economic benefits as well. The postal service has told Green Car Reports that it expects each truck to save between $4,000 and $6,000 a year on fuel costs. This is in addition to the more than 37 tons of greenhouse gas emissions (based on the trucks' first-year trial).
The range of the converted trucks will be around 90 miles and they can reach a maximum speed of 90 miles per hour. The U.S. postal service has a long way to go, however, if it is to convert all of its 160,000 Grumman Long-Life Vehicle mail trucks.
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