US government will change the federal fleet of 600,000 Vehicles for Electric Cars

US government will change the federal fleet of 600,000 Vehicles for Electric Cars

Globe Live Media, Friday, January 29, 2021

The Joe Biden administration announced that it will change the “huge fleet of vehicles owned by the federal government” for “clean electric vehicles made here.”

When he announced the initiative Buy American (to encourage the purchase of national industrial goods), he president of the U.S pledged to change the “huge fleet of vehicles owned by the federal government” for electric vehicles, clean, manufactured here ”. The announcement of Joe Biden affects more than 600,000 trucks, vans and cars whose vast majority consume gasoline o diesel.

Since until 2019 the US government had less than 3,000 cars with batteries electrical, Ars Technica assessed that complying with the measure “will not be easy.” The fleet inventoried at the time had a 63% of gasoline or diesel vehicles, a 31% of flex-fuel (those who consume a mixture of up to 85% ethanol) and a 4% hybrids, which are not loaded with cable but by the engine running itself.

In the last two decades the Congress passed several laws that ordered the federal government to transition toward more energy-efficient, lower-emissions cars, vans and trucks. During the management of Barack Obama there was some progress: hybrids went from 1,766 in 2008 to 25,059 in 2017; those of flexible fuel, from 129,000 to 201,000.

Joe Biden's announcement affects more than 600,000 federal government trucks, vans and automobiles, the vast majority of which use gasoline or diesel.

Joe Biden’s announcement affects more than 600,000 federal government trucks, vans and automobiles, the vast majority of which use gasoline or diesel. 

“That progress was not easy,” the publication explained. “Federal agencies need a variety of vehicle types, from four doors to large trucks or vans. In some cases, the agencies had difficulties finding low-emission vehicles that met the requirements. Some agencies also operate in parts of the country where no alternative fuels or charging infrastructure available”.

In addition, reciprocating engines are more expensive than common: a four-door hybrid car cost USD 5,200 more than a conventional one in 2017, and electric cable charging between USD 8,700 and 15,300 more.

And although in 2015 Obama issued a decree for federal agencies to include in their plans the renewal of the 20% of its fleet by zero-emission vehicles, and then raised the figure to 50%, in 2018 his successor, Donald Trump, signed an executive order to cancel those goals. The number of reciprocating engines dropped between 2018 and 2019.

Barack Obama issued a decree for federal agencies to include a percentage of zero-emission vehicles in their plans, but his successor, Donald Trump, canceled those targets. (REUTERS / Molly Darlington)

Barack Obama issued a decree for federal agencies to include a percentage of zero-emission vehicles in their plans, but his successor, Donald Trump, canceled those targets. 

“Now Biden tries reboot and possibly speed up Obama’s efforts. It will be easier today”, compared Ars Technica. “The speedy falling cost of batteries it means that direct-charging hybrids and battery-electric vehicles are now more affordable.” While they do not cost the same as conventional, “The gap has narrowed and experts hope that fully closed by 2025, when Biden’s first term ends. “

The variety of vehicles also expanded, particularly in the non-passenger lineup such as SUVs, vans and trucks. At the same time the infrastructure of charging stations for electric vehicles grew. However, 100% of the federal fleet is, according to the publication, an extremely ambitious goal.

Although Biden has stated that this is a goal, has not established a specific schedule. In a possible scenario, it will take a decade or more to replace completely, with alternative electric batteries, the 381,000 conventional vehicles and the 191,000 flex-fuel vehicles of the federal government ”, the text calculated.

Ben Oakley
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