American president Joe Biden yesterday announced that the U.S. federal government will replace its vehicle fleet with electric solutions. The move is in line with the new administration’s strategy in the fight against climate change.
“The federal government also owns an enormous fleet of vehicles, which we're going to replace with clean electric vehicles made right here in America, by American workers."
- President Joe Biden
He added that the administration believes the change will create a million jobs in the auto and clean energy sectors.
The sheer numbers of vehicles involved in such a transformation is quite astounding. The current federal fleet of vehicles is estimated at around 645,000 models. This includes those assigned to various civilian agencies (for example the postal service) and military organizations. Of the 645,000 or so models, about 412,500 are trucks of all types, while about 224,000 are passenger vehicles and another 8,000 are buses and ambulances.
President Biden did not provide details as to when the replacement of the fleet would begin, who would supply the vehicles or how much money the government will spend to carry out the switch.
The announcement is part of a larger effort to stimulate U.S. manufacturing industries, and it comes in the context of the Buy American initiative being put forward by the new administration. This of course could have an impact on certain suppliers who are considered foreign and who would like to sell products to the U.S. government.
Pete Buttigieg, the president's appointee to head the Department of Transportation, said last week that he would work to support Biden's "green" transportation plans. He suggested that the administration will reverse the trend of reducing federal fuel-economy standards to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and that it will work to encourage the use of electric vehicles through measures such as adding half a million charging stations across the country.
These are very early days in the new administration, and many details are still to come. Expect a hectic period of activity in the months to come on the electric-mobility front…