The new Biden Administration has committed to replacing the entire US Federal fleet with American-made electric vehicles.
The move will see around 640,000 internal-combustion cars, trucks, and SUVs replaced with battery electric vehicles. It’s not yet clear how long the fleet overhaul will take, but Reuters estimates it could cost US$20 billion.
“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 made by American workers,” said US President Joe Biden.
Mr Biden described the fleet renewal as “the largest mobilisation of public investment in procurement infrastructure and R&D since World War Two”.
Reuters reports Mr Biden will move to close “loopholes” allowing cars with engines or large parts of their construction manufactured abroad, such as steel or glass, to be classified as American-made.
According to US General Services Administration figures quoted by Reuters, the US Government fleet was driven a combined 4.5 billion miles (7.2b kilometres) in 2019, consuming a combined 1.49 trillion litres of petrol and diesel.
Of the fleet, more than a third of the vehicles in need of replacement are US Postal Service vehicles, around half of which are boxy, white delivery vans approaching three decades old.
According to Vox, the current fleet of US Postal Service vans lacks basic equipment such as airbags, anti-lock brakes, and air-conditioning, and use an average of around 23L/100km.
A number of American carmakers have revealed suitable replacements. Rivian has an all-electric delivery van developed for Amazon, while General Motors’ new BrightDrop brand is dedicated to pure-electric delivery solutions.