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Chrysler Corporation lobbied Congress to make Post Office purchase electric vehicles
June 23 2010

Chrysler Group LLC has been putting their lobbying money to work in an attempt to get Congress to require the United States Postal Service to purchase electric delivery vehicles.

Why is Chrysler so interested in what the Postal Service is buying these days? Chrysler is working on an electric version of their minivan and they want the USPS to purchase it. The Postal Service is in the process of evaluating their vehicle as well as electric vehicles from other suppliers.

The massive bailout of several U.S. automakers has left the government with a 10 percent ownership share of Chrysler Group LLC. The fact that the company has some degree of government involvement prompted Rep. Darrell Issa, R-California, to sponsor an amendment aimed at banning Chrysler, and any other company with government ownership, from using lobbyists. Representative Issa's bill was ultimately defeated by lawmakers.

Chrysler spent $591,000 on lobbyists in the first quarter of this year in an effort to influence a variety of bills covering such things as restricting texting while driving, new auto safety rules, and limiting greenhouse gas emissions.

The Postal Service has been looking for ways to implement energy-saving electric vehicles into their fleet. They are currently testing prototype electric engines from five different companies this summer in an effort to find an efficient and cost-effective replacement for the gas-powered motor being used in their everyday delivery vehicle, the LLV (Long Life Vehicle). The Chrysler electric minivan is also being considered as part of an overall initiative to cut back on the Postal Service's output of greenhouse gas emissions.

Chrysler already has a relationship with the United States Postal Service. There are approximately 10,000 Chrysler minivans currently in use by the USPS. That's a significant number, but Chrysler would like to see it go higher. Will a little more lobbying, that just might happen.

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