OAK PARK, MI --- Azure Dynamics Corp., which develops green technologies for the commercial transportation industry, announced that its Balance Hybrid Electric vehicle is the newest addition to the United States Postal Service fleet. 

USPS operates the largest civilian vehicle fleet in the world, with over 220,000 vehicles traveling more than 1.2 billion miles a year. USPS is testing the Balance Hybrid Electric vehicle in hopes of reducing the environmental impact of its fleet while also lowering operating costs. 

"USPS is the only federal agency with a dedicated Office of Sustainability," said Scott Harrison, Azure Dynamics CEO. "The organization has demonstrated its strong commitment to sustainability by publicly stating its goal of decreasing petroleum usage by 20 percent over the next five years while also lessening its environmental impact. Our Azure Balance Hybrid Electric can be instrumental in helping USPS achieve these goals." 

The Azure product, a Balance Hybrid Electric two-ton step van, will actively participate in the USPS fleet in Long Island, N.Y., for a 12-month pilot program. The vehicle uses an Azure Dynamics hybrid electric drivetrain on the Ford E-450 chassis with a Morgan Olson body. Boyer Ford Truck Sales delivered the vehicle. 

A key strategy of the Postal Service's supply management organization, the "green purchasing program" incorporates evaluation of environmentally preferable products into purchasing decisions -- along with price, quality and delivery standards. The USPS green purchasing program was aided by the recent addition of $130 million in federal stimulus funds and in 2008 spent over $88 million in the acquisition of environmentally preferable products. 

"The Postal Service is taking the lead in reducing the environmental footprint that results from visiting every home and business in America every day," said Sam Pulcrano, USPS vice president of sustainability. "This new vehicle will join 30 other Azure Dynamics pure electric step vans currently delivering mail in Manhattan and the Bronx, as part of a test of alternative fuel technology."