President Obama Issues Order: 50% Of New Federal Agency Vehicles To Be ZEVs Or PHEVs By 2025

MAR 23 2015 BY MARK KANE 46

President Obama Takes A Chevrolet Volt on a 13 Foot Joyride For the Press

President Obama Takes A Chevrolet Volt on a 13 Foot Joyride For the Press

The White House’s Office of the Press Secretary published Executive Order — Planning for Federal Sustainability in the Next Decade, which orders Federal agencies to buy more zero emission vehicles (ZEV) or low emission vehicles, like plug-in hybrids (PHEV).

By the end of 2020 ZEV/PHEV must account for 20% of all new agency passenger vehicle acquisitions, while by December 31, 2025 that figure jumps to at least 50%.

In 10 years, greenhouse gas emissions for Federal agencies should be cut by 30% compared to 2014.

Here is the most important automotive-related part of the executive order:

“(g) if the agency operates a fleet of at least 20 motor vehicles, improve agency fleet and vehicle efficiency and management by:

  • (i) determining, as part of the planning requirements of section 14 of this order, the optimum fleet inventory with emphasis placed on eliminating unnecessary or non-essential vehicles from the agency’s fleet inventory;
  • (ii) taking actions that reduce fleet-wide per-mile greenhouse gas emissions from agency fleet vehicles, relative to a baseline of emissions in fiscal year 2014, to achieve the following percentage reductions:
    (A) not less than 4 percent by the end of fiscal year 2017;
    (B) not less than 15 percent by the end of fiscal year 2021; and
    (C) not less than 30 percent by the end of fiscal year 2025;
  • (iii) collecting and utilizing as a fleet efficiency management tool, as soon as practicable but not later than 2 years after the date of this order, agency fleet operational data through deployment of vehicle telematics at a vehicle asset level for all new passenger and light duty vehicle acquisitions and for medium duty vehicles where appropriate;
  • (iv) ensuring that agency annual asset-level fleet data is properly and accurately accounted for in a formal agency Fleet Management System and any relevant data is submitted to the Federal Automotive Statistical Tool reporting database, the Federal Motor Vehicle Registration System, and the Fleet Sustainability Dashboard (FleetDASH) system;
  • (v) planning for agency fleet composition such that by December 31, 2020, zero emission vehicles or plug-in hybrid vehicles account for 20 percent of all new agency passenger vehicle acquisitions and by December 31, 2025, zero emission vehicles or plug-in hybrid vehicles account for 50 percent of all new agency passenger vehicles and including, where practicable, acquisition of such vehicles in other vehicle classes and counting double credit towards the targets in this section for such acquisitions; and
  • (vi) planning for appropriate charging or refueling infrastructure or other power storage technologies for zero emission vehicles or plug-in hybrid vehicles and opportunities for ancillary services to support vehicle-to-grid technology;”

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46 Comments on "President Obama Issues Order: 50% Of New Federal Agency Vehicles To Be ZEVs Or PHEVs By 2025"

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Seems like the %’s could be higher. Heck, I’d say 80% of mail delivery cars could be BEVs. And 100% could be PHEVs.

I would say 100% pure electric is ok too.

100% in 3 years!

80% in 2025 looks like a bad joke.

I think you are completely out of touch on exactly how many cars the United States gov’t buys.

The entire US fleet of vehicles is nearly three-quarters of a million vehicles. If the government bought 100% of their replacement vehicles with 100% electric vehicles starting next year, the gov’t would buy up nearly every pure EV from every car maker. And they wouldn’t suit the purposes the vehicles are needed for.

Part of the slow roll-in is to keep from distorting the market. Another part is to allow more suitable EV’s and PHEV’s to come to market. For example, pickup trucks and SUV’s make up roughly 30% of the US fleet of vehicles. And we have exactly zero of these currently for sale on the market. The reality is that it isn’t realistic right now to replace these with vehicles with EV’s or PHEV’s today. Yes, it will be until 2025 until some of these vehicles can be replaced by EV’s or PHEV’s.

I want green cars as much as the next guy. But bashing the President for actually having the federal gov’t fleet managers create a realistic plan isn’t helpful.

If they’re going to sign these executive orders for more PHEV purchases, I sure hope those orders also include some percentage of charging stations.

It would stink to have the gov’t buy many Volts and PiP and C-Max Energis, only to be burning gas most of the time without a place to charge.

If all the new car purchases by the Federal government were EVs, then that would create a lot more demand for EVs. With a lot more demand, a lot more would get made the following year, and a lot of gas miles would be replaced with electric miles.

Not sure why you think that would be a bad thing.

Of course, 100% isn’t realistic, but certainly the guv’mint -could- be buying a lot more EVs. GM has had to cut back on Volt production because it can’t sell all it makes. Similarly, Leaf production could be ramped up a lot more than it has, and -would- be ramped up if demand increased.

Lensman — It is a question of scaling and timing. No, I do not think it would be good for the US Gov’t to buy up all the EV’s and PHEV’s car makers sell in a year, leaving them scrambling to try and fulfill customer orders.

No, the car makers cannot simply scale up production at their whim. First off, many EV makers are only making a limited number of EV’s for select markets, and once sold they aren’t making any more. Second, the rest of the manufacturers are battery limited on production. That is true from Tesla to Mitsubishi to GM to Ford. All are battery limited on increasing production.

The whole issue of Volt production is a whole other kettle of fish. Prior to the economic crash in the autumn of 2008, GM had pegged the price of the Volt at around $30K, and created a set of sales projections based upon this price. Bob Lutz and the entire GM board knew this price was going to lose them money in the first few years, but they believed that was necessary to leap-frog the competition and firmly establish GM as the PHEV leader, paving the way for more Voltec based vehicles. This was all based upon pre-2008 Global Economic Crash car sales volumes and a growing economy. The crash happened. The banking institutions ground to a halt and stopped lending and stopped funding leases. GM couldn’t sell cars to their customers who almost all needed loans or leases to buy. They went bankrupt. Now coming out of bankruptcy they could no longer sell the Volt at a loss because they now were under the rules of bankruptcy. GM came up with numbers that pretended the largest global economic crash since the Great Depression would recover in 10 months. It also somewhat dreamily assumed the exact same sales numbers for… Read more »

kdawg — It may shock you, but the United States Postal Service is not actually a Federal Agency of the United States Government, and it is not affected by this order.

The USPS is a quasi-civilian entity, and aside from the requirement under the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to report their efforts at reducing energy consumption, they are as free as any other private entity to buy vehicles as they see fit.

Vehicles owned by the USPS are not part of the federal fleet of vehicles.

THis is a bassackwards way to go about it. All federal vehicles should be required to be plug-in, with BEV first priority. If there isn’t a BEV that sufficiently meets the vehicle need (TCO cost could be a criteria), then a PHEV could be considered, then a hybrid, and lastly an ICE. If they want to include HFC in the mix then it should be at the PHEV level.

Percentages are either too high or too low and timing is better determined by product availability not some preordained WAG.

It isn’t just a WAG, it is a well researched set of targets based upon exactly the kind of analysis you spoke of plus:

1) cost and availability of charging infrastructure at federal fleet locations (where are you going to charge those EV’s?)
2) Availability of a suitable number of vehicles in the market for sale.
3) Up-fitter suitability (for example, there are no suitable EV’s with enough leg room to put in a rear seat cage for holding prisoners)
4) Lack of SUV and pickups where these vehicles have been spec’ed.


Why do you ASSume it is a WAG, when in reality a lot of work went into determining a realistic timeframe for adoption?

It is based on guesses and assumption for the future: future products, future markets, future goals. Basing the program as I described could be implemented and would automatically adjust for the current reality. It wouldn’t create an arbitrary floor or ceiling that has an infinitesimal chance of being both. In all likelihood it will force the purchase of vehicles that shouldn’t be bought or allow fort laziness or current politics or the biggest doner to reduce the sales of plug-ins that should occur. My suggestion would encourage plug-in makers to build vehicles that are good enough to earn the sale, rather than “compliance” vehicles.

Boy if this keeps up my class action law suit against the US Government for polluting the air we breathe will be harder to win. Guess I’ll just have to add the “too little, too late” argument to the case.


Hmph, executive orders which don’t go into effect until 2 years and 7 years after President Obama leaves office.

In other words: Just lip service for the EV revolution. That executive order can easily be rescinded — or simply ignored — by any future President.

Yeah, President Obama, I voted for you twice. But c’mon, put your money (or rather, your political capital) where your mouth is.

What exactly do you expect Obama to get passed through the current Congress regarding this? Just today the Congress released their FY2016 Budget Resolution, and they clearly are NOT going to support green anything. Their resolution is a roadmap to gutting absolutely all our progress over the last decade for getting green anything to market and replaces it with just theoretical research, along with the “free market” and more oil/gas: Energy • The United States is on track to become energy independent within the next 10 years. Achieving this will pay extraordinary dividends not just for our economy but also for our national security. This budget encourages further exploration of oil and natural gas both onshore and offshore in North America on both private and public lands. • The private sector is clearly leading the way in the pursuit of energy independence while Washington is too often standing in the way with needless regulations or with subsidies that distort the market and leave taxpayers short-changed when politically-connected ventures go bust. • This budget encourages the committees of jurisdiction, the House Energy and Commerce and Natural Resources Committees, to pursue policies that will ensure private sector capital investment is not crowded… Read more »

The President is head of the Executive branch. Congress controls the budget of every government department, but — aside from military spending — generally does not dictate exactly -how- every department spends its money.

If the President ordered that starting tomorrow, 20% of all new vehicles bought by the Treasury dept, the Secret Service, the FBI, the Justice Dept, FEMA, the CIA, and all the other departments under the umbrella of the Executive branch, had to be plug-in EVs… and further ordered that the percentage would increase by 10% every year… then it would happen, at least until President Obama leaves office. No approval by the do-nothing Congress needed.

Lensman — If the President ordered that starting tomorrow, 20% of all new vehicles bought by … the Executive branch, had to be plug-in EVs … No approval by the do-nothing Congress needed.” That is incorrect. First off, suitable PHEV’s do not exist for many vehicles the govt buys. Second off, the govt doesn’t qualify for the $7,500 dollar tax incentive when they buy EV’s, so they pay full price. That means they can’t afford to buy as many cars with the funds that the Congress has allocated them to spend. The President would have to go back to the Congress to get the up-front money to fund both the higher cost of the PHEV’s compared to ICE cars, AND the charger install costs. You may retort that the gov’t will save money in the long run. That may or may not be true without the $7,500 tax incentive that everybody else gets when they calculate ROI. But it doesn’t matter. It is irrelevant. Without Congress’s approval, the President won’t have enough up-front money to afford to buy the number of cars that need to be purchased in a year. Even the US President can’t break the laws of mathematics.… Read more »

Yeah… Someone stupidly voted for non-science, anti-climate change folks into to fill both houses of congress.

He’s doing what he can with what he’s got to work with. Which is pretty sad, but that’s mainstream America for ya. 😉

Including a ranking member of the House Committee on Science and Technology that doesn’t believe in evolution…

*face palm*

Not to make this a complete political tangent, but I hate our two party system right now.

I’m a person who believes in the sanctity of life, from conception, but also think all these green technologies are the way to go.

So I either vote for people who agree about the green technology but push abortions all the time, or vote for people who are more pro-life but hate green tech.

It kind of stinks, though I think saving lives is better (if you believe as I do that life begins at conception). I could go on about how unfortunate it is that preserving human life is made into a “women’s rights” issue. I have no issue with women’s rights, but the right of an innocent child should take precedent.

I’m sure many disagree with me here, I won’t try to convince you otherwise, I just ask that you respect my beliefs.

Bottom line, neither party aligns with some of my most closely held beliefs, which stinks! 😉

He looks angry in that Volt picture. He must have been thinking about Netanyahu.

He was pissed they wouldn’t let him drive more. Then we would have seen the EV grin.

Yeah, he only got to drive it like 10 feet. Secret service said “No.”

“In 10 years, greenhouse gas emissions for Federal agencies should be cut by 30% compared to 2014.” How can this claim even be computed? Think about the commuters into DC right now. Is this mandate even going to come to play there? How about A/N/A/M – they use a ton of fuel for deployments, for all the training exercises, etc. What about range needs? ZEVs are limited (even Teslas) in what they can accomplish in terms of distances covered. What about the claim a few years back that the Pentagon was going to buy something like 30,000 Volts or some such number? This is where GM or others needs to step up and get CUVs and SUVs going (hello Via Motors) for the larger cars that these “mandates” will demand. Why does the government have to do this – what about just cutting this to a very simple point of sale rebate of $8000 for consumers to purchase plug-ins? Rebate so people have a chance to get the discount if they have limited incomes. Who could cut emissions the most? The longer-range commuters now who burn a lot of fuel going into big cities like DC, Atlanta, L.A., SF and… Read more »

““How can this claim even be computed?””

That is not about this, that is from a separate EO about reduces emissions from Federal Agencies. They need to insulate, install solar PV, buy electricity from windfarms, etc.

Another option – Shrink The Government!

Since the government has grown at levels unseen since “Roman Times” (well, maybe) – the government can save funds, cut emissions and perhaps do better for the taxpayer by shrinking government.

The total body-count may be about the same, but government spending and debt per citizen have both skyrocketed. Here are the trends:

2000 => $20,327 debt per citizen
2004 => $24,922 debt per citizen
2008 => $32,708 debt per citizen
2012 => $49,158 debt per citizen
2015 => $56,654 debt per citizen

Debt per tax payer is about 2.6 times the above figures.

That is because revenue dropped. This is largely due to two major tax cuts, multiple wars that weren’t paid for, and the biggest economic crash since the great depression greatly reducing tax revenues. We have a Revenue Problem. We hit our highest rate of deficit spending in the history of our nation as we entered the 2008 Economic Crash. Here is our actual debt down to the penny as recorded by the Bush Administration’s Treasury Department: $9,556,571,346,593.61 August 1st 2008 $10,632,005,246,736.97 Feb 1st 2009 This is $1,075,433,900,143.36 in deficit spending in just 6 months, for a yearly deficit spending rate of nearly $2.2 Trillion dollars! We’ve now cut that rate of deficit spending down to roughly a quarter of that. 85% of the reduction in deficit spending has come from Increased Revenues. Not from cutting spending. Not from gutting programs. From working on fixing our Revenue Problem. Yes, we need to continue to fix our Revenue Problem, which has greatly reduced our deficit spending since the 2008 record highs. That, along with modest spending reductions will return us to Clinton levels of roughly balanced budgets. A Clinton sized Defense Budget would be a big step towards a Clinton level balanced… Read more »

If we fix the revenue problem, government will just continue to spend it.

They still have a “use it or lose it” budgeting mentality.

Like I said: Shrink the Government. Less wars, less ridiculous spending, appropriate taxes (lower corporate, higher individual tiers) and so on.

It’s not sustainable the way it is right now.

Nix, where do you learn such nonsense? Federal tax revenue has never been higher than it is right now.

Click the link I provided. If you do some basic research, you will probably stop parroting false MSNBC talking points. Unless you work for MSNBC … then I would expect you to continue.

Adjusted to 2012 dollars, according to the IRS, the individual Federal Income Tax rates in 2013 were the lowest since 1941 (except for 1989-1992). We have a disastrous revenue problem.

I’ll pay my 56 if everybody else does.

Forget any idea of reforming electric car tax incentives. Not with the current Congress.

Bonaire asked:

“Why does the government have to do this…?”

Let’s rephrase the question: Given that the guv’mint has to buy a lot of new cars every year, would it be better for them to buy gas guzzlers or plug-in EVs?

Seems like a no-brainer to me. I’m rather amazed, not to mention disappointed, at the various convoluted arguments against this simple idea presented in comments here.

With the USPS article mentioned elsewhere here on InsideEVs – they could cover a vast majority of the greening of the fleet by replacing all USPS delivery trucks with BEV or EREV type solution. A 50-60 mile plug-in vehicle which can recharge overnight prior to the daytime run (like a big old golf cart).

This new President Obama is quite awesome.

So glad he could take time off from parting the red sea.

The Red Sea of Bureaucracy?

Yeah. 🙂

If this is going to actually accomplish anything, there need to be new rules on fuel compensation for vehicles.

Currently way too many fleet PHEV’s end up getting operated on gasoline only, and rarely get plugged in. This is because employees can’t get compensated for home electricity use when they take their car home and plug it in, but they can get compensated for buying gas.

This is because unless the company can get an itemized receipt, they can’t account for that expense for tax purposes.

The only way to change that is to change the rules on what companies can compensate their employees for when they charge at home, and what evidence is required.

Right now, the Volt has the OnStar reporting stats that show charging. If this data could be harvested by companies, and compensated directly based upon actual use, that would go a long way to solving this problem.

For a bit of further clarification of my last post:

1) For the purposes of taxes, it is considered an “Expense” if a receipt can be provided for an actual product required for the operation of the company. A gas receipt would fit in this category. Expenses are deducted from the profits of the company directly, and reduce the amount of taxes a company owes.

2) For the purposes of taxes, it is considered an “Employment Benefit” if an employee is given a fixed benefit. If a company gave an employee a fixed $50 per month for home charging an EV, that would be considered an Employment Benefit. Employment Benefits actually increase a company’s taxes when it comes to matching FICA and other matching taxes companies have to pay on wages/salaries.

Reverse charge. Install thousands of charging points at government workplaces so plug-in drivers can charge at work. Then if they happen to be using Volts or whatever, they can buy their own gas on their own dime if they travel far but if they charge at work, at least that is an average 40 “green miles” per commute.

Bonaire — It doesn’t work that way. Aside from the few rare administrative perk cars, most cars that go home with employees are used during their shift, not parked at chargers.

Usually if a gov’t employee has a take-home car, it is because they are expected to be on call with that vehicle 24-7 and use that car for work. For example, a fire inspector who takes their car home because they are expected to respond to a suspicious fire call at any time of the day or night. Or a Park Ranger who takes their vehicle home because they are expected to respond to a poaching call 24-7. etc.

Another option:
500 Pentagon charging points and 500 “coupons” that members can use to buy plug-in vehicles. Rinse, repeat for State, Capital, NIH and all the rest. Incentives to get people into Green Tech rather than buying outright at $35K a pop, they could get federal employees to “green from the outside”.

Government cars sitting stationary during the day and used for random trips is less green than getting daily commuters to drive BEVs and EREVs.

80 plug in spots in Metro commuter-stations also would work to benefit the community. Not the 4 or 8 or some such tiny number which are many times ICEd because the spots are on the bottom floor, near prime parking spots.

Airports need this expansion as well. I just don’t see them “getting on the band-wagon” just yet.

This is all child’s play.

The next big thing that the kids in congress are going to do is try block the EPA proposal to drop power plant emissions by 30%.

It’s actually not a kid its a Senator from one ‘a them coal producing states.

I think if they want to burn coal we should require them to install a bubble dome over their state so they can breath it instead of just shipping it out to the state….and ultimately the earth’s atmosphere

I think the EPA mandate is a very economical way to drop GHG emssions.

It can easily be accomplished in the US at not much more $. We use our abundant gas reserves to power combined cycle plants that run at 60% efficiency. It is a no brainer. I think if you got the right Pubs to push it it would work.