By David Shepardson
WASHINGTON – U.S. President Joe Biden on Wednesday will sign an executive order vowing to transition to the acquisition of only zero-emission vehicles by 2035 for the federal vehicle fleet, the White House said.
The U.S. government owns more than 600,000 vehicles. Biden’s executive order also pledges 100% zero-emission light duty vehicle acquisitions by 2027, according to a fact sheet seen by Reuters.
“The federal government will work with American vehicle, battery, and charging equipment manufacturers and installers to transform its fleet into the largest zero-emission vehicle fleet in the nation, reaching 100 percent zero-emission vehicle acquisitions by 2035,” the fact sheet said.
Biden’s executive order also targets net-zero emissions from overall federal operations by 2050, including a 65% emissions reduction by 2030.
In January, Biden vowed to replace the U.S. government’s fleet with electric models.
“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 made by American workers,” Biden said.
Biden in August signed an executive order aimed at making half of all new vehicles sold in 2030 electric, which also includes plug-in hybrid electric models that also have a gasoline engine.
The 50% target, which is not legally binding, won the support of U.S. and foreign automakers, which said that achieving it would require billions of dollars in government funding.
Biden has resisted calls to follow California, which plans to phase out the sale of new light-duty gas-powered vehicles in 2035.
As of 2019, the U.S. government owned 645,000 vehicles that were driven 4.5 billion miles consuming 375 million gallons of gasoline and diesel fuel, according to the General Services Administration (GSA). The U.S. government spent $4.4 billion on federal vehicle costs in 2019, the GSA said.
Of U.S.-government vehicles, just 3,215 were electric vehicles as of July 2020, GSA said.