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Gracie Cockett –HSD RC –Electric Postal Vehicles NEG

Table of Contents
Table of Contents....................................................................................................... 1

Topicality: Postal Service Policy..................................................................................1

Fair limits ............................................................................................................ 2

“The United States Postal Service maintains the largest civilian vehicle fleet in the
world with about 221,000 vehicles in service,” said Congressman Steve Israel (D-
NY). (Congressman Steve Israel, December 17th, 2009 “New “e-
Drive” Bill Introduced to Electrify Postal Delivery Fleet,”
http://serrano.house.gov/NewsDetail.aspx?ID=678)...............................................2

INHERENCY:................................................................................................................ 3

1. Postal service trends lean toward electric vehicles.............................................3

SOLVENCY:................................................................................................................. 4

1. Batteries.............................................................................................................. 4

Batteries are expensive. ......................................................................................4

Batteries are expensive and potential for price reductions is limited. .................5

DISADVANTAGES........................................................................................................6

Disadvantage 1: Job loss.........................................................................................6

Disadvantage 2: Lighter vehicles............................................................................6

Topicality: Postal Service Policy


Interpretation:

Environmental Policy - The official rules or regulations concerning the environment adopted,
implemented, and enforced by some governmental agency.
- William P. Cunningham (University of Minnesota), Mary Ann Cunningham (Vassar College),

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Barbara Woodworth Saigo (St. Cloud State University), The Text Book “Environmental Science:
A Global Concern”, McRawHill (Online Learning Center) Glossary Page, Copyright 2003,
http://highered.mcgraw-hill.com/sites/0070294267/student_view0/glossary_e-l.html

Reform -“To amend or improve by change of form or removal of faults or abuses.”


Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, 2009, http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/reform

Having presented these definitions, we contend that the affirmative team


must directly reform the official rules concerning the environment in order to
be topical. . If the “rule” the affirmative team reforms does not directly concern the
environment, then it is not Topical and outside of the boundaries of the resolution.

Standards:

Brightline: Having a brightline is important because it clearly distinguishes


what is topical and what is not, minimizing confusion. Our definitions make
clear the boundaries of the resolution, while the affirmative definitions are
too vague.

Fair limits
An interpretation of the resolution that offers fair, reasonable limits should be upheld over one
that is ridiculously broad. Our definitions offer an interpretation that is not ridiculously broad,
but not too narrow. The affirmative team’s interpretation is so broad as to include policy reform
that should fall under almost any policy.

Violations:
Postal Service Policy
By switching all postal service vehicles to electric vehicles, the affirmative team’s plan does not
directly reform an environmental policy. Rather, it reforms a US Postal Service policy.
According to Congressman Steve Israel in December 2009:
“The United States Postal Service maintains the largest civilian vehicle fleet in the world with
about 221,000 vehicles in service,” said Congressman Steve Israel (D-NY).
(Congressman Steve Israel, December 17th, 2009 “New “e-Drive” Bill Introduced to
Electrify Postal Delivery Fleet,” http://serrano.house.gov/NewsDetail.aspx?ID=678)

As we see from this piece of evidence, it is currently the US Postal Service that maintains the
postal vehicles. In the status quo “the official rules” concerning postal vehicles are from the US
Postal Service. It is their (the US Postal Service’s) policy that the affirmative team is reforming,
not an environmental policy.

Impact:

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Affirmative loss: The first and foremost burden of the affirmative team is to fulfill topicality, by
affirming the resolution. Unfortunately, the affirmative team does not affirm the resolution, but
actually affirms a reform in postal service policy. Since the affirmative team does not fulfill
their most basic burden, they cannot win today’s debate round. The stock issue of topicality
should go the negative team, warranting a negative ballot in today’s debate round.

INHERENCY:
1. Postal service trends lean toward electric vehicles
US Postal Service is already testing electric vehicles in a quest to begin
electrifying their fleet.
Tony Borroz (journalist for Wired.com, a technology news
st
website) January 21 , 2010 “Postal Service to Test Electric Truck”
http://www.wired.com/autopia/2010/01/ac-propulsion-mail-truck/
The U.S. Postal Service keeps chugging along in its quest to find an electric delivery truck, and it
has enlisted the help of two outfits for the final part of its study. One of them, AC Propulsion, is
well-known within the EV [electric vehicle] community. The other, AutoPort, is the company
that gets to do the heavy lifting. The companies will work together on the engineering,
development and conversion of a conventional mail truck to electric power, one of five ideas the
Postal Service is considering to begin electrifying its fleet of 142,000 vehicles. Once the truck is
built and tested, it will see duty on the streets of Washington, D.C.

Postal service is testing electric vehicles in California and Washington D.C.


United States Postal Service, 2009 “USPS hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles
deliver million pieces of mail” http://www.usps.com/green/news/100114_fuelcell.htm
Chevy Equinox Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles being tested by the
Postal Service in Irvine, CA, and Washington, DC, passed a milestone in December 2009. The
two test vehicles have been used to deliver 1 million pieces of mail since entering service in
August 2008 and February 2009, respectively. “We’ve always been at the forefront of
technology,” said Postal Service Engineering Vice President David Williams. “From the railroad
to the Wright Brothers, USPS has always been eager to find new ways to deliver the mail more
effectively and efficiently.”

Lobbying is being done to pass a bill before Congress that would


implement 20,000 electric postal vehicles.
Sebastian Blanco ( journalist for Autoblog Green, an
th
environmental news agency) January 25 , 2010, “USPS, Congress moving forward with electric
vehicle plan” http://green.autoblog.com/2010/01/25/usps-congress-moving-forward-with-
electric-vehicle-plan/ Newer news: that Congressman Jose Serrano introduced a bill – called the
American Electric Vehicle Manufacturing Act or "e-Drive" (H.R. 4399) last December for the
USPS to use a fleet of 20,000 electric delivery vans and to get a network of 24,000 charging
stations (with more to come). There is a summary of the bill here (PDF).
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Newest news: there are things being done behind the scenes to push EVs [electric vehicles] into
the fleet sooner rather than later. This week, during the Washington Auto Show, EV [electric
vehicle] advocates are holding meetings with Congressional staffers about this very issue. The e-
Drive bill just got a new website, which gives people who aren't in D.C. a way to support the bill
and to contact their Representatives and Senators to voice that support.

SOLVENCY:
1. Batteries
Battery effectiveness is constrained by weather conditions.
Michael Ravnitzky (Special Assistant to Commissioner Ruth Goldway, U.S. Postal Regulatory
Commission,) May 2009 “Electric Drive Vehicles For Mail Delivery: Identifying Key Issues,”
the Regulation and Competition Center for Research in Regulated Industries – Rutgers
University, http://66.208.7.72/(S(lbcjaay1b3wzldeyh2f2jm45))/prc-
docs/library/refdesk/techpapers/prcstaff/Ravnitzky%20Eastern%20Conf%20%20Paper.pdf

Electric drive vehicle performance may be constrained in at least two ways by ambient
temperature conditions. First, battery performance is affected by cold temperatures. This can be
remedied by an auxiliary battery heating element, but that expends battery power, even when the
vehicle is idle. Second, any heating (or cooling) of the driver’s space requires substantial
additional electric power. In addition, windshields require energy for defrosting on cold days.

Batteries are expensive.


Michael Ravnitzky (Special Assistant to Commissioner Ruth Goldway, U.S. Postal
Regulatory Commission,) May 2009 “Electric Drive Vehicles For Mail Delivery:
Identifying Key Issues,” the Regulation and Competition Center for Research in Regulated
Industries – Rutgers University, http://66.208.7.72/(S(lbcjaay1b3wzldeyh2f2jm45))/prc-
docs/library/refdesk/techpapers/prcstaff/Ravnitzky%20Eastern%20Conf%20%20Paper.pdf
The U.S. Advanced Battery Consortium has set a target price of $300/kW·h for automotive
lithium-ion packs. This value is expected to be achieved by 2015 as a result of volume
manufacturing, but until then, the price for the vehicle market will be much higher.

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Batteries are expensive and potential for price reductions is limited.


National Research Council (of The National Academies, specifically the Board on Energy and
Environmental Systems and the Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences,)2009,
“Transitions to Alternative Transportation Technologies--Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles”
page 83, http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=12826&page=83
Lithium-ion battery technology has been developing rapidly, especially at the cell level, but the
costs are still high, and the potential for dramatic reductions appears limited. Assembled battery
packs currently costs about $1,700/kWh of usable energy. A PHEV-10 will require about 2.0
kWh and a PHEV-40 about 8kWh even after the batteries have undergone expected degradation
over time. Costs are expected to decline by about 35 percent by 2020 but more slowly thereafter.
Projections of future battery pack costs are uncertain, as they depend on the rate of
improvements in battery technology and manufacturing techniques, potential breakthroughs in
new technology, possible relaxation of battery protection parameters as experience is gained, and
the level of production, among other factors. Further research is needed to reduce costs and
achieve breakthrough in battery technology.

2. Infrastructure needs uncertain and expensive.


Michael Ravnitzky (Special Assistant to Commissioner Ruth Goldway, U.S. Postal Regulatory
Commission,) May 2009 “Electric Drive Vehicles For Mail Delivery: Identifying Key Issues,”
the Regulation and Competition Center for Research in Regulated Industries – Rutgers
University, http://66.208.7.72/(S(lbcjaay1b3wzldeyh2f2jm45))/prc-
docs/library/refdesk/techpapers/prcstaff/Ravnitzky%20Eastern%20Conf%20%20Paper.pdf
Infrastructure such as the necessary charging stations and equipment for fleet vehicles and
accompanying systems will comprise an essential part of any cost estimates. Estimates of
infrastructure cost are uncertain, ranging as high as $6,000 per vehicle. Parking and lot size
constraints need to be addressed. Such installation must take into account safety considerations
associated with the amount of wiring and other structure required. Sufficient physical space is
required to perform the extended charging required, but no more than is currently used for
parking. The needed charging space could in theory be located in any parking lot, provided the
lot can be wired to supply the necessary levels of electric power. Electrical panels, circuit
breakers, metering and wiring will likely require upgrades, and neighboring transformers will
need to be able to handle the expected current. It is yet uncertain the extent to which such
neighborhood grid or transformer upgrades would be the responsibility of the Postal Service

3. Using electric vehicles will require different maintenance


skills from those in the status quo
Michael Ravnitzky (Special Assistant to
Commissioner Ruth Goldway, U.S. Postal Regulatory Commission,) May 2009 “Electric Drive
Vehicles For Mail Delivery: Identifying Key Issues,” the Regulation and Competition Center for
Research in Regulated Industries – Rutgers University, http://66.208.7.72/
(S(lbcjaay1b3wzldeyh2f2jm45))/prc-docs/library/refdesk/techpapers/prcstaff/Ravnitzky
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%20Eastern%20Conf%20%20Paper.pdf The adoption of electric drive vehicles will


require different maintenance skills from those required today. Because of reduced maintenance
requirements, the complement of fleet maintenance workers would likely be reduced by
approximately 40-50 percent, but those remaining workers would require training in a number of
additional specialized skills.

Impact: The affirmative has not shown that the current workers know these different
maintenance skills or that they can be taught. If the workers can’t do the maintenance
work required, the electric vehicles cannot be used effectively.

DISADVANTAGES
Disadvantage 1: Job loss
Link: The affirmative switches postal vehicle fleet to electric.

Internal link/impact: Reduced maintenance requirements of electric vehicles leads to


maintenance workers losing their jobs.
Michael Ravnitzky (Special Assistant to Commissioner Ruth Goldway, U.S. Postal Regulatory
Commission,) May 2009 “Electric Drive Vehicles For Mail Delivery: Identifying Key Issues,”
the Regulation and Competition Center for Research in Regulated Industries – Rutgers
University, http://66.208.7.72/(S(lbcjaay1b3wzldeyh2f2jm45))/prc-
docs/library/refdesk/techpapers/prcstaff/Ravnitzky%20Eastern%20Conf%20%20Paper.pdf
The adoption of electric drive vehicles will require different maintenance skills from those
required today. Because of reduced maintenance requirements, the complement of fleet
maintenance workers would likely be reduced by approximately 40-50 percent, but those
remaining workers would require training in a number of additional specialized skills.

Disadvantage 2: Lighter vehicles


Link: Aff. Plan increase use of electric vehicles.

Brink: Electric vehicles have a lighter overall weight than conventional cars.

US Department of Energy, April 15th, 2009, “Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs)”


http://www1.eere.energy.gov/vehiclesandfuels/technologies/systems/hybrid_electric_vehicles.ht
ml
Hybrid electric vehicles have several advantages over conventional vehicles:

• Greater operating efficiency because HEVs use regenerative braking, which helps to minimize energy loss and recover
the energy used to slow down or stop a vehicle;

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• Lighter engines because HEV engines can be sized to accommodate average load, not peak load, which reduces the
engine's weight;
• Greater fuel efficiency because hybrids consume significantly less fuel than vehicles powered by gasoline alone;
• Cleaner operation because HEVs can run on alternative fuels (which have lower emissions), thereby decreasing our
dependency on fossil fuels (which helps ensure our national security); and
• Lighter vehicle weight overall because special lightweight materials are used in their
manufacture.

Impact: Increased risk of deaths in vehicle crashes.


Robert E. Grady (journalist for the Wall Street Journal) May 22nd, 2009 “Light Cars Are
Dangerous Cars” The Wall Street Journal,
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124294901851445311.html

The NRC [National Research Council] study concluded that the subsequent downsizing and
down-weighting of vehicles, "while resulting in significant fuel savings, also resulted in a safety
penalty." Specifically, the NRC estimated that in 1993 there were between 1,300 and 2,600
motor vehicle crash deaths that would not have occurred if cars were as heavy as they were in
1976.

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