Yesterday President Joe Biden announced that he intends to replace the fleet of federal vehicles with American-built electric vehicles during his Buy American executive order briefing. While not a direct part of the executive order, this fleet-related decision aims to help to create more auto worker jobs, as well as reduce emissions and overall maintenance costs associated with the massive federal fleet.
“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, creating millions of auto worker jobs, and clean-energy vehicles that are net-zero emissions,” President Joe Biden was quoted as saying by ABC News.
Pres. Biden: "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."https://t.co/figJbDMrpt pic.twitter.com/racgwk9VGw
— ABC News Live (@ABCNewsLive) January 25, 2021
According to the General Services Administration, the United States government currently operates some 645,000 fleet vehicles, including 173,000 military vehicles, 245,000 civilian vehicles, as well as 225,000 postal service vehicles. All together, these fleet vehicles traveled 4.5 billion miles and burned in 375 million gallons of fuel in 2019. These figures do not include any sort of combat vehicles, which are not a part of the President’s new electric vehicle plan regardless.
President Biden’s plan to swap out the federal fleet with electric vehicles isn’t all that new. In fact, yesterday’s announcement made good on a long-standing campaign promise made by the-candidate Biden. If this announcement was any indicator of what’s to come, prepare for a significant increase of federal investment into EV-related infrastructure, tax credits, and buyer incentives.
The United States Postal Service might just benefit the most from the decision, as the agency is in dire need of new service vehicles. The government began the process of replacing the aged-out postal fleet back in 2015, though the process was ultimately delayed twice last year due to the COVID-19 crisis. That said, only one of the three companies up for the federal contract has developed a pure-electric vehicle. Stocks for Workhorse, the company in question, rose by as much as 10 percent following Biden’s announcement,
The move to transition the federal fleet to American-made electric vehicles isn’t as scary of a decision as it sounds. In fact, the transition makes quite a lot of sense in many use cases across the country. This is particularly true for our neighbors at the USPS, who just downright deserve better machines to drive around in. It’s also good for American companies like Ford and General Motors, who have invested heavily in electric vehicle development in recent years. That said, no concrete details about this process have been laid out at this point. As is normal with the federal government, expect those details to take a while.