President Joe Biden plans to replace the government’s fleet of cars and trucks with electric vehicles assembled in the US, he said Monday when he signed a new ‘Buy American’ order.
The government is a major buyer of vehicles. However, replacing such a fleet with American-made electric vehicles will be costly and time-consuming. Only a handful of all-electric vehicles are currently being assembled in the US. Tesla, General Motors and Nissan Motor produce electric vehicles domestically, while Ford Motor and others have announced plans to do so.
“The current offering is quite small, but the industry is about to unleash an avalanche of new product, and much of it is built in North America,” said Kristin Dziczek, vice president of industry, labor and economics at the Center. for Automotive Research. The Washington City Times. “Just about every factory in the US will have a hybrid or electric product.”
It is unclear whether Biden’s plan includes plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, which use a combination of EV engines and traditional internal combustion engines. When discussing the plans, he referred to the new fleet consisting of “zero emission electric vehicles”.
The White House did not immediately respond for comment.
A man drives his Tesla car while SpaceX’s Starship SN8 is seen behind him, days before a test launch of the company’s new super-heavy Starship rocket from their facilities in this small town of Boca Chita, Texas, December 4, 2020.
Gene Blevins | Reuters
Biden has not specified a timetable for switching the government’s “massive fleet” to electric vehicles, which cost significantly more than traditional vehicles. He said the fleet change will support his administration’s plan to create 1 million new jobs in the US auto industry.
Biden also announced plans for stricter use of US parts in government-bought vehicles, which will make it even more difficult to switch the fleet. He said current standards require at least 50% of a vehicle’s parts to be sourced from the US for purchase.
“The 50% content threshold is not high enough and the way we measure content doesn’t take into account US jobs and economic activity,” Biden said. “We’re going to change that, too. The executive action I’m signing today requires not only that the companies make more of their components in America, but that the value of those components contribute to our economy, measured by things like created and / or supported a number of US jobs. “
GM said in a statement that it is “encouraged by President Biden’s commitment to support US manufacturing and looks forward to reviewing the details of the order.”
Ford, which launched an “Built for America” ad campaign last year, said it “believes that investing in America, its people, goods and services, should be a national mission.”
Tesla did not immediately respond to comment.