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Your mail on an electric delivery cart: Postal Service goes greener

The US Postal Service and other government agencies are trying to make their transportation fleets more eco-friendly.

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Up to 10 times a day, somebody will stop mail carrier Taran Edge on her route and ask to take her photograph.

While she is flattered by the attention, she knows that it is her vehicle they are really interested in. Ms. Edge's unconventional three-wheeled electric delivery cart has become something of a tourist attraction on the streets of Key West, Fla., but more important, it plays a key role in the endeavors of the US Postal Service to secure a more sustainable future.

In October 2009, President Obama issued an executive order that directs the federal government – the biggest energy consumer in the United States – to make substantial reductions in greenhouse-gas emissions by 2020. In July, he expanded that mandate to include "indirect sources," such as employee commuting.

These directives mean that fuel consumption by the government's 2 million employees is under greater scrutiny, and the savings made, however small, by projects such as Edge's T-3 electric delivery cart are more crucial than ever.

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