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Coalition Calls for Postal Service Fleet Transition to Plug-in Hybrids

The Plug-in Partners coalition has called on Congress to provide incentives sufficient to transition the US Postal Service fleet to plug-in hybrid vehicles.

Austin, Texas Mayor Will Wynn, whose city leads the nationwide plug-in campaign now joined by more than 20 major cities, issued the call during a press conference at the World Congress on Information Technology (WCIT) in Austin.

Transitioning the Postal fleet to plug-ins would serve as a springboard for the commercial production of delivery vehicles that could be extended to a wide variety of delivery services across America.

The commercial market would also provide the economic certainty needed by automakers to make the production investments necessary for the mass production of plug-ins.

The plug-in technology is available right now and represents a realistic near-term solution to the serious problems of over-reliance on foreign oil, out of control gasoline prices as well as greenhouse emissions.

—Mayor Will Wynn

The Postal Service is a good target for plug-in applications. Its fleet consists of approximately 210,000 vehicles from Class 8 trucks down to carrier route vehicles that travel 1.2 billion miles a year consuming an estimated 106.8 million gallons of gasoline and 21 million gallons of diesel.

It also has a fairly aggressive alternative fuels program in place, with light-duty hybrids, medium-duty hybrids, clean diesel, biodiesel, flex-fuel (which is underutilized due to fuel availability), CNG (which is on the decline) and hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles.

The Postal Service’s medium-duty hybrid work is with Azure Dynamics. Initial results show a hybrid cargo van delivering 11.9 mpg, compared to a standard cargo van’s 8 mpg on the same route—an improvement of 48.8%.

The Postal Service also has 28 zero-emission electric delivery trucks in service in the New York Metro Area—again in partnership with Azure Dynamics. The CitiVans are two-ton delivery trucks that replaced diesel-powered trucks used to transport mail and bulk packages between central distribution facilities and neighborhood post offices. The all-electric trucks can travel 40 miles on a complete charge, with a top speed of 60 mph.



gerald earl

Sorry poet,I grew up in a time when "typing" was done by women on typewriters.I have the keyboarding skills of a one armed chimp so it takes me a while to post.I could proof read and fix all errors but at 60 words per hour typing just let it go.


I'm not a creationist.
I know it takes longer than 6 days to create oil.

What Planet I am from?
Earth. You know, the big RV we all travel in around the sun.

$2.50/gal again? Only time will tell.
Lets check back in Nov. If it does fall to that level,
any EV development and sales will be stopped dead.
Allowing the Energy Giants to swoop down and buy the new battery patents on the cheap. Thus controlling the future fate of EVs.


2 issues: 1-Oil dependence/national security, and 2-price/utilization of gas and other petroleum (I will skip global warming for now).

This Administration, and probably no administration, will do anything about oil dependance until there is an actual oil shortage or break in supplies. There just is too much money in oil related industries and no political will (voter demand) to do anything. I know people say they are changing behavior, but they say a lot of things they don't do. Ask Ford about the Edsel research if you don't believe that.

As for oil and gas prices, as people gradually replace current gas guzzlers with slightly more efficient behemoths, like HEV SUV's, their overall fuel bill remains relatively constant. Therefore, gas prices can go higher without much more pain. I think that is what will happen. We will see the new technologies come on line and be adopted gradually, but at the same time gas prices will continue to rise.

During this time, there will be more and greater fluctuations in price, and more startups that fail or are bought out by current oil or other corporate interests. We may see $2.50 gasoline again, but not for long. But the move to more efficiency has begun, and it starts with those who have the greatest immediate interest -- businesses. That is why they are moving to more efficient fleets, greener (fuel efficient) heating, and alternative sources of energy. The technologies will trickle down to individuals and spread from early adopters, but not in a year or two.

Harvey D.

Is $3.00 a gallon or about 10X more than 50 years ago too much? The price of most products (with a few exceptions) has also gone up 5X to 10X during the same timeframe.

Considering the free trade 'supply and demmand' basic rules, the price for fossil liquid fuel should keep going up (more rapidly) with increasing demand as supply dwindles.

However, the progressive arrival of alternative fuels and PHEVs, may extend the supply of liquid fossil fuels for another 50 years. The price of gasoline will depend, to a greater extend, on the price of competing replacement energies, the penetration of PHEVs and EVs and introduction of carbon-pollution taxes.

We should NOT be surprised to pay $10+/gal for liquid fossil fuel 10-15 years from now. Exxon and friends will make increasing profits as price goes up. This may be a good time (if not too late) to invest in OIL for the short term but in non-fossil liquid fuel, energy storage units and alternative energies for the mid term. Much higher prices will represent excellent profit opportunities.


I doubt that we'll see $2.50/gallon gasoline again absent economic collapse somewhere, on the order of the Asian financial crisis.  I saw premium unleaded below $1.00/gallon then, but it was because a large segment of humanity was suddenly priced out of the market for petroleum.

That's one reason I will not make bets on the future price of oil.  As people and nations reach the limits of their credit and run out of pawnable items, their demand may collapse and lead to temporary drops in price.

When PHEV's or other technologies hit the market and offer substantial savings in cost over fuel (and immunity from price volatility), they will start taking over.  They will also be used in preference to the fuel-only vehicles, leading to a faster replacement of petroleum than their fraction of the fleet.

Harvey D.

Most of Europe already pays between $5 and $7/gal. A jump to $10/gal is on the near to mid-term horizon for many Europeans.

USA may have to follow closer to the European price (by increasing fossil fuel taxes) to accellerate the introduction of alternative fuels, PHEVs and reduce Oil & Gas imports and air pollution.

Otherwise, the USA trade deficit will hit the roof and Americans may have to sell much more of their real estates (to oil producing countries) to pay for imported Oil & Gas at the rate of $1+ billion/day.

allen zheng

____2006~3% vs 1980~5% This translates to an average of $5.50+ FY2005 a gallon of gasoline, varying from $4.95 to $7.75+. This is the level at which the altrnatives will look very atractive, causing the market to shift, and forcing a shift in energy use (of hydrocarbon) and sources of.
____The oil producers may stall this shift by crippling its profits, selling raw and finished oil products at a loss (at a discount of $1-$2 a gallon). Saudi Arabia, Iran, Venezuela, and maybe Russia will do this as their economies are predominantly or significantly based on energy $$$. The same may apply to the major oil companies that have their own oil reserves (but to a lesser extent due to their much smaller reservesrelative to major producer countries).
____Europe may get there much sooner than US due to their taxes on transport fuels. Ironically Norway, a major oil exporter, may get there before US or China.
____What could the government could do and maybe make a small profit IF THEY DO NOT SCREW IT UP!!!!!!!!! How about a program to car pool. Use multistory automated parking garages to increase parking spaces without using up large chunks of land. They would be built around highway entrances/exits. Congestion pricing and/or taking existing lanes on highways as toll/hov/mov lanes. Buses and vans could be part of this scheme. Commuter rail stations could convert their street level parking lots to multilevel automated ones. Then increase service by adding trains and constructing bypass lanes for more flexible use of peak direction express trains. In NYC, and esp. LA, the increase of service on commuter/subway lines with less use (J,M,Z lines in NYC, most lines in LA). Carrot and stick, access and time.
Instituted first in cities with the worst traffic problems, and largest populations (LA, NYC, Houston, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Atlanta) and rapidly implemented in smaller and less congested cities, it could decrease smog/GHG/pollutants, traffic, wasted time (time is money), fuel use, wear and tear, etc, etc, etc.
Smog/GHG/Pollutants: Oil/antifreeze spilled/leaked, brake pad/disk particulates, CO2, NO, etc.
Traffic: 20-50% off roads.
Wasted time: Less cars, less congestion/ traffic accidents, GOT TO GET TO WORK OR I'LL GET FIRED/ MISS CLIENT/MEETING TOLL SPEED LANE, some drivers sit in traffic for 25 min-hours each day while they could be doing something else (productive). Also emergency vehicle travel time.
Fuel use: Less cars, less fuel. As much as 50% of the 9+ million bbl of gasoline could be trimmed off on workdays.
Wear and tear: Drive less=less wear and tear=less depreciation=$$$
Etc, Etc, Etc...: More time with kids/family=more stable families=less divorce, less teenage mischief, more stable and harmonious society/community (by a bit). More time available could mean a bigger economy, one way or another; recreation, work (charitable, or for $$$), less time stuck behind the wheel to do things (news, e-mail, etc.). More time for exercise=less obesity/diabetes (or maybe not).



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