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Federal vehicles to go green as President Biden promises electric fleet

America’s entire federal vehicle fleet will be replaced by U.S.-made electric models, President Joe Biden announced on Monday.

The move is part of a broader “Made in America” initiative designed to boost U.S. manufacturing by increasing federal spending on American firms, the newly minted president said in a speech on Monday, January 25.

“The federal government owns an enormous fleet of vehicles, which we’re going to replace with clean electric vehicles made right here in America by American workers, creating millions of jobs, a million autoworker jobs, and clean energy, and vehicles that are net-zero emissions,” Biden said as he outlined the planned government action.

Reports suggest the U.S. government currently operates around 650,000 vehicles, comprising a mix of cars, SUVs, and trucks for a range of purposes. President Biden offered no details on when the process will begin or how long it will take to fully swap out the fleet, so it could be many years before the change is completed.

Auto industry expert Kristin Dziczek described current all-electric offerings in the U.S. as “pretty slim.” In comments made to CNBC in response to the government’s announcement, the Center for Automotive Research executive added, “But the industry’s about to unleash an avalanche of new products, and a lot of it built in North America.” With that in mind, American automakers that move swiftly could be in for some rather lucrative government contracts.

Responding to Monday’s announcement, Detroit-headquartered General Motors said it’s “encouraged by President Biden’s commitment to supporting American manufacturing,” while Dearborn-based Ford described Biden’s early focus on investing in American manufacturing as being “critical to the continued success of the U.S. auto industry.”

The federal fleet of course includes the heavily armored presidential Cadillac known as “the Beast” that currently runs on gasoline, though how long it’ll be before we see that particular vehicle humming quietly along the road is anyone’s guess.

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