America’s new President just made one of his most significant policy announcements to date. The entire US federal fleet of vehicles will transition completely to electric vehicles.
Biden says the Government owns an enormous fleet of vehicles, which they’re going to replace with clean electric vehicles made in America. To understand just how significant that announcement is, we need to look at how many vehicles the US Government has both owned and on lease.
According to data from the US General Services Administration, in 2019, the US federal fleet included 645,047 vehicles. The single largest Government division by quantity is the US Postal Service with a massive 225,668 vehicles, followed by the total military agencies which included 173,429.
Biden says this move will create a million new clean energy jobs.
During the election campaign Biden had announced a massive infrastructure plan to fund 500,000 public electric vehicle chargers. With many of these fleet vehicles residing on Government property, its likely they’ll need to add additional chargers to recharge these new fleet EVs.
We can see in the graph below the breakdown by vehicle category, reveals Light Trucks is the most common vehicle category. If you were an electric vehicle manufacturer in America right now and didn’t have a product in this category, it may be worth strongly considering adding one.
Biden is proving to be a real friend of EVs, with other announcements including an expansion of consumer tax credits for EV purchases. Those EV makers like Tesla that had surpassed 200,000 sales, became ineligible to offer $7,500 tax credit, however under Biden that is likely to be scraped, making more EVs, more affordable to more Americans.
Without a local vehicle production in Australia, unfortunately Australia can’t replicate this same strategy of the Government taking a lead in transition their fleet to electric vehicles, while increasing local jobs at the same time.
Australia could however, mandate that all Government vehicles are going electric, increasing the opportunity for automakers in Australia, helping draw new offerings to the country.
The diversity of electric vehicles is one of the big complaints from potential EV owners, along with cost. The cost equation could be substantially helped if Government-leased EVs entered the 2nd hand market in Australia at the end of their cycle (typically 2 years or 30,000kms).
Australia often follows America on public policy and I’d strongly encourage our Government to follow Biden on this one.
You can watch the full announcement here.