Biden pledge to make federal fleet electric faces slow start
Biden pledge to make federal fleet electric faces slow start

President Joe Biden, a self-proclaimed “car guy”, has often promised to lead by example on climate change by moving quickly to convert the US government’s expanding fleet of vehicles into vehicles. free electricity. But efforts to eliminate gas-guzzling cars and boats have stalled.

Biden pledge to make federal fleet electric faces slow start
Biden pledge to make federal fleet electric faces slow start

Last year, Biden ordered the US government to buy only zero-emission passenger cars by 2027 and electric versions of other cars by 2035.

“We will use the purchasing power of the federal government to buy clean, non-exhausting vehicles,” the president said shortly after taking office in January 2021. Since then, he’s been using photo ops — racing in Ford Motor Co.’s F-150 electric pickup truck, or driving GM’s Cadillac Lyriq electric SUV at the Detroit auto show — to promote their potential. Company leaders have used the first models of the Ford Mustang Mach-E SUVs used in the Department of Energy and Transportation.

The White House often describes the 2027 timeline as being on track. But the Human Resources Department, the agency that buys two-thirds of the federal fleet of 656,000 vehicles, says there are no guarantees.

There’s also the US Postal Service, which has three remaining parts of the federal fleet. After backlash and facing legal action, the company now says that the first half of the 50,000 car sales will come from electric power. The postal bus will hit the delivery route late next year. Climate activists say the company could do better.

“The USPS should use its new vehicles to use electric power or almost all electric power,” said Luke Tonachel, director of clean vehicles and housing at the Natural Resources Defense Council. -Cite an additional $3 billion in federal funding for postal services. a boat. under the landmark climate law that Biden signed last month.

About 30% of greenhouse gases in the United States come from the transportation sector, making it the largest source of global greenhouse gas emissions in the country. Creating a federal plane is a “cornerstone” of Biden’s efforts to destabilize the federal government, said Andrew Mayock, the White House’s top federal lobbyist.

“The future is electricity, the federal government has built a strong foundation … that will help us understand this journey we are going on in the next decade,” he said in an interview.

Excluding the postal service, about 13% of the new electric vehicles bought across the government this year, or about 3,550, are “free standards,” according to administration figures provided to The Associated Press.

The government defines a free pump as an electric or plug-in hybrid, which has a petrol engine and technology. This compares to slightly less than 2% for the 2021 budget and under 1% in 2020.

When it comes to vehicles on the road, the federal government’s numbers are small. Many purchases from the past few months will not be transferred to a year due to installation issues. Currently, only 1,799 of the 656,000 vehicles on the federal fleet are zero-emission vehicles.

With 35,000 to 50,000 GSA vehicles purchased annually, it will take years, if not decades, to replace the entire fleet. “It hasn’t been a fast start,” said Sam Abuelsamid, a travel analyst for Guidehouse Insight.

Christine S. Kingsland, director of the federal trade management division at GSA, said “federal ships are operational ships.”

The company pointed out that small electric cars from automakers have high upfront costs. Also, he said, the company’s needs are often specialized, from emergency response trucks in large rural race reservations to large Department of Homeland Security SUVs along the U.S. border. Companies also need easy access to public power stations.

The White House has acknowledged that the companies are “behind” in their own charging infrastructure, with about 600 charging stations and 2,000 chargers nationwide.

While Biden’s bipartisan Infrastructure Act provides states with $7.5 billion to build an electric vehicle charging network that can accommodate up to 500,000 chargers over multiple years along interstate highways, no money from this law was only earmarked for the specialized needs of federal agencies. Money for charging stations must be allocated in the budget of each department.

Meeting Biden’s goal for the federal government’s fleet depends on the industry boosting production as expected in 2025 and 2026, analysts said. At that time, the impact of a large federal investment to build public chargers and promote the production of electric cars in the United States will likely have an impact on the side of strict regulations for car manufacturers to reduce emissions youngest.

For example, GM has set an annual production capacity of 1 million electric vehicles worldwide by 2025, while Ford plans to produce 2 million electric vehicles worldwide by 2026. Stellantis is increasing its production capacity and prepares to start a new system of innovation. EVs.

The White House declined to set a specific target for EV purchases by 2023, but Mayock said he expects that number to be higher than 13%. Although the postal service is an independent agency, it plays an important role in the production of ships, not only because it has 234,000 vehicles in the federal fleet, but also because The blue and white bus is the most visible in the federal government. car. , turning up in neighborhoods across America every day.

The company plans to buy 165,000 vehicles over the next ten years. The Postal Service is “committed to reducing our carbon footprint in many areas of our operations and expanding the use of electric vehicles in our fleet is a priority,” said spokeswoman Kim Frum.

White House officials say purchases of electric vehicles could increase significantly from a base of near zero a few years ago under President Donald Trump, who wants to ease restrictions. electric car.

At a recent electric car show at a federal law enforcement training facility outside Washington, police tested electric vehicles for police use, including the Ford Mustang Mach-E. Mayock said, impressed with the work force’s efforts to “manage” electric vehicles, calling the experiment “a moment of great change management” for the government.

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Hi, I am Yunus, founder of InfoEVs. I am a Blogger and Digital Marketer by profession and a vehicle lover. I like to ride and read, and write about vehicles.


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