US President Joe Biden will start the process of phasing out the federal government’s use of combustion engine-powered vehicles and replacing them with ones that run on electricity. The announcement is the fulfillment of a promise Biden made on the campaign trail to swap government fleet vehicles with American-made EVs.
“The federal government owns an enormous fleet of vehicles, which we’re going to replace with clean electric vehicles made right here in America, by American workers,” Biden said when announcing his “Buy American” executive order.
In 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, 173,000 military vehicles, and 225,000 post office vehicles. Those vehicles travelled 4.5 billion miles in 2019.
Biden also promised to create a system that offers rebates or incentives for consumers to replace gas cars with electric vehicles. Biden supports the $7,500 federal tax credit for electric vehicles and says he is open to considering new incentives to encourage car buyers to consider making the switch to electric.
Former President Trump tried to end the federal EV tax credit in his 2020 budget proposal but was not successful. Also under Trump, the Environmental Protection Agency rolled back Obama-era emissions rules aimed at forcing the auto industry to manufacture less-polluting vehicles.
Biden has already taken steps to reverse Trump’s rollback of the Obama-era emissions rules. And on the day of his inauguration, Biden ordered federal agencies to revisit fuel efficiency standards as well as rules governing emissions from airplanes and appliance and building energy efficiency standards.
President Biden says his goal is to ensure that every vehicle on the road is zero-emission by 2040 and has pledged billions of dollars to add 550,000 EV charging stations in the US.