Joe Biden has signed an executive order that will require the replacement of the entire fleet of federal vehicles with US-built electric cars, vans and trucks.
Joe Biden has announced that he has signed an executive order that will require the replacement of the entire fleet of federal vehicles with US-built electric cars, vans and trucks; in all, some 645,000 nationwide.
Besides helping tackle the climate emergency, one of the clear priorities of his administration, the idea is to generate jobs linked to sustainability, that is, to strengthen the national automotive industry as long as it is committed to the manufacture of products that do not poison people or endanger the future of the planet. When you have a technology that greatly reduces the amount of emissions no matter how you evaluate them and no matter where the energy comes from (despite the misinformation persistently spread by the oil industry), but also reduces the total cost of ownership, it is common sense to consider substitution. The savings that would arise if the entire US automobile fleet went electric are estimated to be in the region of $70 billion.
Other public institutions, such as New York City Hall, came to that conclusion as long ago as March 2019: electric vehicles had already become the cheapest option for the municipal fleet. A total ownership cost analysis that, driven by widespread fallacies such as the alleged (and false) degradation of batteries, few people bother making. But when large fleet owners do and make purchasing decisions based on it, it may be time to start rethinking many individual purchasing decisions as well.
The Biden administration’s idea, championed by former Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, is to provide the right incentives to achieve a full transition that puts millions of electric vehicles on the nation’s roads, to get electric vehicle sales to 100% of all new vehicles sold by 2030. The government believes that accelerating the transition to electric vehicles is one of the most logical and appropriate levers to realize a Green New Deal, an economic recovery based on sustainability.
The idea of large public contracts to buy electric-powered fleets, coupled with the expectation of rapid electrification of an increasingly significant part of the market, encourages traditional car companies to convert factories that many already see as toxic assets. Companies such as GM and Volkswagen have already said goodbye to the fake commitment that hybrids represented, and are carrying out this conversion as fast as they can.
When you see large administrations considering changes of this magnitude, and doing so not only to fight the climate emergency, but also as a matter of cost and to improve the health of citizens, it is time to understand that the world has changed: the greatest disruption and technological transition in history, the abandonment of fossil fuels and their replacement by electricity, is already here.
This post was previously published on Enrique Dans.
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