As part of a press conference about an executive order regarding the expansion of the “Buy American” act of 1933, President Biden said that the federal government’s fleet of vehicles will be replaced with clean electric vehicles. The fleet replacement portion of the news conference is part of a campaign promise Biden made while running for president. As of 2019, the federal government has over 645,000 vehicles in its fleet, so it’s likely going to take years for a full replacement to happen.
As part of his campaign, President Joe Biden announced a plan to replace the gas-powered federal fleet of vehicles with EVs. Today he announced that the pledge will become a reality during a press conference regarding an executive order to expand the “Buy American” act. At the announcement of the executive order, he noted that “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.” For U.S. automakers that have invested heavily in electrification, as GM has, this is great news. Biden said the electrification of the fleet would create jobs for autoworkers and that it would be “the largest mobilization of public investment in procurement infrastructure and R&D since World War Two.”
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The actual executive order itself makes no mention of the fleet replacement. Instead, it’s meant to increase the number of components a product is made up of in order to qualify to be a domestic good. It’s currently set at 50 percent. Biden hasn’t set a new percentage threshold. What Biden and the order do say is that the value of the individual components need to be such that they contribute to the U.S. economy. Stating that the components will be “measured by things like a number of American jobs created and or supported.”
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The United Auto Workers issued a statement following the press conference about the executive order stating, “with the stroke of a pen, President Joe Biden today sent a strong message to American workers that our government will do all it can to support buying American products, made here by American workers, recommitting to the men and women of working America. Through today’s order, the Biden Administration commits the vast power of the U.S. government to U.S. citizen made products.” GM said that it “is encouraged by President Biden’s commitment to supporting American manufacturing.” Ford said, “President Biden’s early focus on investing in American manufacturing is critical to the continued success of the U.S. auto industry. How long the transition from gasoline-powered vehicles to EVs will take is unknown, although it’s likely to take a few years. According to the General Services Administration, as of 2019, the government fleet has over 645,000 vehicles on the road. That’s a lot vehicles to be replaced by clean-running counterparts.
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