President Joe Biden has announced that he will start the process of phasing out fossil-fuel-powered vehicles in the federal government fleet – replacing them with ones that run on electricity.
This will reduce the CO2 emissions of at least half a million vehicles.
Biden talked a lot about American-made electric vehicles during his campaign, and it seems that, like many of his other green initiatives, he’s keen to get a move on.
What impact will this have on US emissions?
As of 2019, there were nearly 650,000 vehicles in the federal government’s fleet, according to the General Services Administration. This includes 245,000 civilian vehicles, 225,000 post office vehicles, and 173,000 military vehicles. Altogether, these vehicles travelled 4.5 billion miles in 2019.
Not only will this electrical transformation save a huge amount of CO2 from being released into the atmosphere, but it should also lead to significant savings on fuel.
Plus, by introducing this project, Biden is keeping his promise of creating 1 million new jobs in the auto sector and to “position America to be the global leader in the manufacture of electric vehicles and their input materials and parts.”
The President has said he will be swapping out the government’s fleet through a “cash-for-clunkers”-style plan (a previous government program that provided financial incentives to car owners to trade in old vehicles for more fuel-efficient ones), to ensure that every vehicle on the road is zero-emission by 2040.
Of course, some federal vehicles won’t be able to be replaced straight away – plus, it wouldn’t be cost-effective to replace the fleet’s fairly new cars.
Biden’s transportation secretary, Pete Buttigieg, has also recently stated that he wants to put “millions” of electric cars on US roads. So, we can be sure to see more EV initiatives in the near future.
How will this impact the EV industry?
Electrical vehicles are well and truly on the up – and not just in the US, either.
The President’s announcement will be warmly welcomed by US-based EV makers like Tesla, Rivian, and Lordstown, as well as legacy automakers like Ford and General Motors.
Biden’s order, however, may not be a direct win for Tesla. Whilst Tesla mostly focuses on luxury vehicles, automakers that could benefit more from the plan include Ford, which recently unveiled an electric version of its Transit vans. General Motors are also likely to benefit, as they just released a new company called BrightDrop, which is focused on electric delivery vehicles.
Ford has invested $11 billion over the past few years to introduce a raft of new EVs. whilst General Motors has committed to spending $27 billion on electric and autonomous vehicles by 2025. It looks like these investments are already paying off.
Biden has also said he supports the $7,500 federal tax credit for electric vehicles and would be open to considering new incentives to encourage more people to switch to electric.
As an added bonus, Biden has also pledged to spend billions of dollars to add 550,000 EV charging stations in the US.
It certainly looks like it’s going to be a big year for the EV industry in the US.
Although we’re not sure about the details of Biden’s government fleet plan, we can still be sure that it’s a huge win for the EV industry.
In the President’s first few days in office, he has already made several positive environmental moves. On his first day, he rejoined the Paris Agreement and cancelled the Keystone XL pipeline permit, as promised, as well as appointing a climate team of policy experts.
This EV announcement is the cherry on top of a very green-driven start to Biden’s first week in office.