President Joe Biden signed an executive order on December 8 demanding the federal vehicle fleet to transition to the acquisition of only zero-emission vehicles by 2035.

The executive order also pledges 100% zero-emission light-duty vehicle acquisitions by 2027. In total, the order covers more than 645,000 vehicles owned by the US government.

"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.”

White House fact sheet

In addition, the executive order targets net-zero emissions from overall federal operations by 2050, including a 65% emissions reduction by 2030.

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As of 2019, the US 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. The US government spent $4.4 billion on federal vehicle costs in 2019. Of the entire fleet, only 3,215 were electric vehicles as of July 2020, GSA data shows.

“Each agency with a fleet comprising at least 20 vehicles shall develop and annually update a zero-emission fleet strategy that shall include optimizing fleet size and composition; deploying zero-emission vehicle re-fueling infrastructure; and maximizing acquisition and deployment of zero-emission light-, medium-, and heavy-duty vehicles where the General Services Administration (GSA) offers one or more zero-emission vehicle options for that vehicle class.”

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This latest executive order comes after Biden’s remarks in January on replacing the US government’s fleet with electric models.

Then in August, Joe Biden signed a non-binding executive order stating that half of US new vehicle sales by 2030 should consist of battery electric, plug-in hybrid electric, and fuel cell electric vehicles. The 50% target is supported by domestic and foreign automakers on condition that the government will allocate billions of dollars to achieve it.

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