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Biden’s latest executive order calls for a zero-emissions federal fleet by 2027

The Biden administration announced an executive order today focused on reestablishing the US federal government as a leader in sustainability. The sections within the executive order tackle major global issues like climate change, greenhouse gas emissions, and net-zero carbon electricity production. Furthermore, the President has set a 2027 deadline to make all light-duty government fleets zero emissions.

A large part of then-candidate Joe Biden’s presidential campaign was focused on science, the environment, and ensuring proactive measures in place to combat climate change while creating more US jobs.

Since becoming Commander in Chief, President Biden has made further bold promises and introduced legislation to promote eco-friendly technologies like renewable energy and EV adoption. While we approach a close to the President’s first year in office, many of these proposed bills remain in Congress.

However, the administration saw a huge victory last month as Congress passed a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill that will help beef up the US’s archaic electrical grid. What was not included, however, was the Build Back Better Act and the proposed $12,500 EV tax credit within in.

That bill remains in Congress and has faced opposition from automakers like Volkswagen, Toyota, and Tesla due to its preferential benefits to companies utilizing union labor. In the meantime, the White House is still working to implement more zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) on roads, including government fleets.

Today’s executive order from President Biden supports ZEV fleets

According to the official release from the White House briefing room today, President Biden has ordered several sections into action as they pertain to promoting clean and sustainable energy and transportation in the United States.

This is clear in section 204 titled, “Transitioning to a Zero-Emission Fleet” which states the following:

Each agency’s light-duty vehicle acquisitions shall be zero-emission vehicles by the end of fiscal year 2027. 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. 

So by 2027, any government fleet consisting of at least 20 vehicles will need to be purchasing ZEVs moving forward. Given this new executive order from President Biden, it begs the question of whether USPS mail trucks would qualify as light-duty fleet vehicles. There are certainly more than 20 of them.

Back in February, Postmaster General DeJoy would only commit to 10% of the new USPS mail truck fleet going electric, a beacon of uproar amongst the EV and environmentalist communities.

Workhorse, which was the only manufacturer bidding EV replacement vehicles, actually tried to sue the USPS for this near-sighted decision. However, the company ultimately withdrew the lawsuit to keep the door open for future contracts with the US government.

Perhaps there’s still hope for Workhorse to help deliver fleet EVs to the US government. More as it comes.

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Scooter Doll is a writer, designer and tech enthusiast born in Chicago and based on the West Coast. When he’s not offering the latest tech how tos or insights, he’s probably watching Chicago sports.
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