Securing America's Future Energy

Back to the Future: USPS RFP Mirrors 1980s Vehicle Procurement Process, says SAFE CEO Diamond

Contact: Ellen Carey
Number: 202-461-2382

Washington, D.C. – In response to the United States Postal Service’s (USPS) release of its Request for Proposal (RFP) for the Next Generation Delivery Vehicle Prototype, SAFE President and CEO Robbie Diamond issued the following statement:

“In 1987, the U.S. Postal Service married itself to the Long Life Vehicle ‘mail truck’ and squandered the opportunity to adopt nearly three decades of transportation innovation, including greater fuel efficiency and basic safety features like airbags, intermittent wipers, and anti-lock brakes. Unfortunately, today is 1987 all over again, with this new RFP issued by the Service spelling out in plain English its intent to repeat the very same mistake, holding on to its next fleet of purpose-built vehicles for at least another two decades while the world passes it by.”

“Furthermore, the RFP lays out an onerous set of fleet-wide standards that all but necessitate purpose-built vehicles, requiring features that are unnecessary for the vast majority of routes. For instance, the required ability to heat the vehicle cabin to 65 degrees Fahrenheit in temperatures as cold as 30 degrees below zero is a needless feature for almost the entire country. Blanket requirements such as these impose unnecessary costs on USPS and its customers, raising the price of vehicles while benefiting only the smallest number of use cases.”

SAFE analysis shows that by following what is industry best practice and assembling a fleet of mixed, off-the-shelf vehicles, lightly customized for the routes and terrains for which they will be used and, most importantly, turned over at least once during the life of the fleet, USPS could generate savings of approximately $2 billion compared to the traditional acquisition process used for the LLV.”

“All of this is especially ironic on ‘Back to the Future Day.'”

“As one of the largest civilian fleets in the world, the U.S. Postal Service should take an active role in leading our country to better energy security by reducing our dependence on oil. Disappointingly, the Service has chosen to tie its own hands and ignore the fuel efficiency, fuel diversity and transportation safety innovations that the next few years promise to bring.”


About Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE)

Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) is a nonpartisan organization that aims to reduce America’s dependence on oil and improve U.S. energy security to bolster national security and strengthen the economy. SAFE advocates for expanded domestic production of U.S. oil and gas resources, continued improvements in fuel efficiency, and in the long-term, breaking oil’s stranglehold on the transportation sector through alternatives like natural gas for heavy-duty trucks and plug-in electric vehicles. In 2006, SAFE joined with General P.X. Kelley (Ret.), 28th Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, and Frederick W. Smith, Chairman, President, and CEO of FedEx Corporation, to form the Energy Security Leadership Council (ESLC), a group of business and former military leaders committed to reducing U.S. oil dependence.


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