President Joe Biden has announced his administration’s plans to replace the entire federal fleet with electric vehicles. According to his remarks while signing the “Made in America” executive order, all the new electric cars will be made in the United States.
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“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,” Biden said in an address.
Although political campaign promises take time to materialize, this move signals the potential for positive change. Biden’s commitment to changing the way the federal government carries out its transport is a good gesture, in line with his climate agenda.
The federal fleet consists of more than 645,000 vehicles, according to the latest Federal Fleet report. If the promise comes to pass, the government will have to replace approximately 254,000 civilian vehicles, 173,000 military vehicles and 225,000 post office vehicles with electric ones.
Even though Biden has expressed his commitment to the matter, there are no timelines set. The fact that the federal government owns such a large number of vehicles may mean that the process takes several years.
While some of the government vehicles may take time to replace, others are prime for the switch. For instance, the Grumman Long Life Vehicles (LLV) that have been serving the postal service since the 1980s may appreciate a change. Postal service vehicles perform light duties over short distances with many stops; this use pattern perfectly suits electric cars.
The announcement comes at a time when Biden has been busy signing several executive orders that could help alleviate the dire climate crisis. On his first day in office, Biden canceled the Keystone XL pipeline permit and started the process of having the U.S. rejoin the Paris Agreement. Biden also set up a team of experts to formulate a comprehensive plan on how to deal with the climate crisis.
Despite all this, substantial change remains a wait-and-see game for observers. While replacing all federal vehicles with electric ones might seem ambitious, it is a move that could help the country start cutting its emissions.
Lead image via Gage Skidmore