USPS ready to buy 66000 EVs


Oshkosh Winning Design

The long-running saga of the United States Postal Service’s delivery fleet took another turn when Postmaster General Louis DeJoy announced that the service is increasing the number of electric vehicles it plans to purchase. The new plan calls for a minimum of 60,000 Next Generation Delivery Vehicles (NGDV) by 2028, 45,000 of which will be battery EVs. The USPS will also buy an additional 21,000 commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) EVs—perhaps EVs like the Ford e-Transit or the BrightDrop Zevo 600—for deliveries by 2028. And from 2026, all vehicles bought by the USPS will be BEVs.

Further establishing the precedent for modern progressive business in the GOUSA.

Ohio will be Honda’s American EV hub

With the Honda Prologue on the way, the Japanese automaker is finally serious about getting into the EV game. But the recently revealed electric crossover is just the start—Honda will need a plant for EVs and batteries here in the US soon, as it sketches out the rest of its lineup set to arrive after 2025.

This week the automaker revealed just where its EV center will be based, with several sites in Ohio slated to become Honda’s electric hub.

Honda indicated that it will spend $700 million to re-tool its Marysville Auto Plant (MAP), East Liberty Auto Plant (ELP), and Anna Engine Plant (AEP) for EV production, slated to start in 2026. The automaker also plans to invest $3.5 billion in a joint venture with LG Energy Solution…to build a plant for battery module production in Ohio as well.

The vehicles that will be produced in Ohio will sit on Honda’s own e:Architecture, rather than GM’s Ultium platform that will underpin the upcoming Prologue…”Honda is proud of our history in Ohio, where our US manufacturing operations began more than four decades ago. Now, as we expand Honda’s partnership with Ohio, we are investing in a workforce that will create the power source for our future Honda and Acura electric vehicles,” said Bob Nelson, executive vice president of American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

Way cool! Impulsively chose this article from the many EV pages online. An industry moving into the future faster than our politicians.

I’ve never owned a Honda though I had a few Acuras starting from Year One of that project. We’ve settled back down into (mostly) American iron with my ancient Dodge Ram pickup which stopped recording distance at about 250,000 miles. And my wife’s shiny brand new Ford Maverick Hybrid pickup.

Finally learned to get my butt out of the way when she backs out of the garage in electric silence.

VW + EV = ID BUZZ

This year, Volkswagen is bringing back the bus — souped up, tricked out, and no longer bouncy — as the ID. Buzz. “ID.” stands for “intelligent design,” and “Buzz” means that it’s electric. It might be the most anticipated vehicle in automotive history. Volkswagen has been teasing a return of the classic, iconic, drive-it-to-the-Grateful-Dead bus for more than two decades. (I’m one of the people who’ve been counting the days.) The company keeps announcing that it’s coming, and then it never comes. Finally, it really is coming, and not only is it electric but it can also be a little bit psychedelic, two-toned, in the colors of a box of Popsicles: tangerine, lime, grape, lemon. It’s on sale in Europe this fall and will be available in the United States in 2024. (One reason for the wait is that Volkswagen is making a bigger one for the U.S. market, with three rows of seats instead of two.) Volkswagen expects the Buzz, which has a range of something like two hundred and sixty miles, to be the flagship of a fast-growing electric fleet. The C.E.O. of Volkswagen of America said that the demand for the Buzz in the U.S. is unlike anything he’s seen before. “The Buzz has the ability to rewrite the rules,” Top Gear reported in April, naming it Electric Car of the Year…

The future of the automobile is, undeniably, swoosh and buzz and smart — smart this, smart that. But is it appealing? VW’s pitch for the Buzz marries nostalgia with moral seriousness about climate change, a seriousness that, for VW, is a particular necessity. Volkswagen dominated the diesel-vehicle industry with its “clean diesel” cars and trucks until, in 2015, it admitted to tampering with the software on more than ten million vehicles in order to cheat on emissions tests. The scandal shattered the company and led to the resignation of Martin Winterkorn, then the VW Group’s C.E.O…Just this May, Volkswagen agreed to pay nearly two hundred and fifty million dollars to settle claims filed in England and Wales…

The Volkswagen ID. Buzz, then, isn’t just any electric car. It’s a bid for Volkswagen’s redemption. Is it also the car that can usher in an E.V. revolution, a true turn of the wheel in the long history of the automobile?

Car geeks who’ve driven prototypes, pre-production versions, say the answer to all those questions is a solid “YES”. We’ll get to see as the Euro version rolls out, this autumn. The longer wheelbase North American version is rumored for 2024 and – I’ll bet – it may be built in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Big-hearted USPS wanted 10% of New Mail Trucks to be Electric


How about 100%?

Upgrading the U.S. Postal Service’s truck fleet has been a long and controversial process, and we’re not done yet. As a quick recap, the USPS started looking for replacements for 150,000 or so Grumman Long Life Vehicles (LLVs) in around 2015. For a while, it looked like the new fleet might be made up of mostly electric vehicles, but when the contract for the new mail trucks was awarded to Oshkosh Defense in the spring of 2021, the USPS said only 10 percent of the new mail trucks might be electric. One of the contenders for an electric truck, Workhorse, sued the USPS last summer over the deal.

Now the government is asking the USPS to pause on the $11.3 billion contract and reconsider the gas-powered truck purchases in the face of climate damage.

The Biden administration and the EPA told the USPS, which operates independent of the executive branch, that the new Oshkosh trucks are just 0.4 mile per gallon more efficient compared to the outgoing LLVs—8.6 mpg versus 8.2 mpg for the older vehicles. It also said that the Environmental Impact Statements (EIS) the USPS conducted as it decided where to award the contract were not conducted correctly.

The EPA sent a letter to the USPS yesterday that said that the whole reason to buy new mail trucks was to make them cleaner, better, and safer…and that “the final EIS remains seriously deficient.”

“Deficient” is probably an accurate characterization of the technical understanding of the USPS officials making the original decisions for another ICE vehicle that only improved mileage 0.4 mpg. EV is the way to go, folks. Hybrid or full-boat EV.

VW ID Buzz electric van debut in March

This week, Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess set a date for the launch of what might be the most eagerly anticipated of VW’s new battery electric vehicles. The retro-styled ID Buzz concept car blew so many socks off when we first saw it in 2017, and we’ll get our first proper look at the production version on March 9, according to Diess’ Twitter feed.

Intentionally or not, Volkswagen’s ID Buzz concept might be the most successful aspect of the company’s post-Dieselgate charm offensive. VW has had to pivot hard into electrification, applying its proven strategy of building many different styles of vehicles from the same family of parts and designs.

…The ID Buzz is definitely destined for production this year at VW’s commercial vehicle factory in Hannover, Germany. And if you venture to Munich or Hamburg, you may see autonomous Buzzes roaming the streets, gathering test data for Argo AI and Moia ahead of a commercial launch in the latter city in 2025.

US models will arrive in 2023. Since range is considered king in our market, we’re just getting the longer-wheelbase passenger version. European Buzz enthusiasts will have more variety, including a short-wheelbase (and therefore smaller battery capacity) version, as well as a commercial Buzz with panels instead of windows down the sides.

I wish I could justify an EV van like this for the two of us and Sheila the dog. We all fit in her current Fiesta and will do…when her hybrid Maverick arrives. We really need just the one vehicle. But…the ID4 Buzz is attractive and functional…and bigger.

Air pollution from cars and trucks increases Alzheimer’s risk two ways

Researchers have found a link between traffic-related air pollution and an increased risk for age-related dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease…

Pamela Lein worked with atmospheric scientist Anthony Wexler…to develop a novel approach to study the impacts of traffic-related air pollution in real time. Researchers set up a rodent vivarium near a traffic tunnel in Northern California so they could mimic, as closely as possible, what humans might experience from traffic-related air pollution…

The researchers exposed male and female rats for up to 14 months to filtered air or polluted air drawn from the tunnel and delivered it to animals unchanged in real time. The subjects were divided into two groups: wild type rats and those that express Alzheimer’s disease risk genes that are relevant to humans…

“We saw that traffic-related air pollution accelerated Alzheimer’s disease characteristics not only in the animals who express the risk gene (which we anticipated) but also in the wild type rats,” Lein says.

“We didn’t anticipate that. The big, exciting discovery is that traffic-related air pollution is a risk factor for late-onset Alzheimer’s disease. This is important because this pollution is everywhere and could explain the increased number of people impacted by Alzheimer’s disease across the world.”

What remains unclear is which component of that pollution is predominately responsible for the effects on the brain. There are gases, particulate matter, road dust, tire wear, vibration, and noise involved in traffic-related air pollution.

“The next set of studies is to try and tease apart specific components of traffic-related air pollution that drive these Alzheimer’s disease traits,” Lein says. “Or is it the collective mix that causes the damage?”

The good news is that these studies provide a baseline comparison for traffic pollution after we complete the changeover to electric vehicles. Then we can finish the task by reducing elements other than vehicle power-plants causing pollution.

Who cares about Clark Kent?

With the arrival of the mobile phone, phone boxes are now obsolete. So, what to do with all those boxes and their infrastructure? Ireland is applying adaptive reuse of the well-positioned phone booths by turning them into EV chargers.

Irish telecoms company Eir and EV charging network EasyGo will replace 180 phone boxes with EV rapid charge points. EasyGo will use DC rapid chargers developed by Australia-based Tritium.

Gerry Cash, director of EasyGo, explains the reason for the innovative collaboration:

We’ve a culture of going into towns and places of convenience. Typically, the locations of the phone boxes are in those types of places. And that’s what we want to do — make the experience of charging a car easy, comfortable, and safe for people.

Way too reasonable a solution to satisfy Americans. Or someone really important…like the board of directors of AT&T.