US increases purchases of electric vehicles, but faces supply chain hurdles

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WASHINGTON, Oct 20 (Reuters) – The U.S. government has dramatically increased purchases of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles but faces supply chain hurdles, the White House said, as it seeks to meet President Joe Biden’s aggressive zero-emissions purchase targets.

Federal agencies quintupled purchases of electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids in the 12 months ending Sept. 30, from about 1% of vehicle acquisitions in fiscal year 2021 to 12% of vehicle purchases. light vehicles in 2022, or 3,567 in total, the White House said. Thursday.

“Without the supply chain issues that impacted the auto industry’s ability to fulfill all federal government orders (zero-emission vehicles) in fiscal year 2022, ZEVs would have made approximately 20% acquisitions in 2022,” the White House said.

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The Government Accountability Office (GAO) said in a report Thursday that federal agencies purchased 257 electric vehicles in fiscal year 2021 and only have a fraction of the electric vehicle charging ports that agencies will eventually have. need.

Biden issued an executive order in December directing the government to end purchases of gas-powered vehicles by 2035. Biden’s order also directs that 100% of federal light acquisitions by 2027 be purchases of electric vehicles or plug-in hybrid vehicles.

Of 33,000 light-duty vehicles acquired in fiscal year 2021, agencies purchased 138 electric vehicles and 119 plug-in hybrids, the GAO said.

As of March, federal agencies own and operate more than 4,000 charging ports at about 1,050 charging locations in fewer than 500 cities, the GAO said.

The General Services Administration (GSA) estimates that the federal government may need more than 100,000 charging ports, in part “because the GSA expects agencies to need one charging port for every two vehicles electricity acquired,” the report said.

In 2020, the US government operated 610,000 vehicles, traveling over 4 billion miles and consuming over 360 million gallons of fuel.

The US government also has 102,000 law enforcement vehicles that are covered by Biden’s order unless exempted by an agency head. The GAO said they “may have additional performance requirements that may not be met by currently available zero-emission vehicle models.”

Last month, the Department of Homeland Security became the first federal agency to launch an EV for law enforcement duties, a Ford (FN) Mustang Mach-E.

Biden’s order does not apply to the 200,000 vehicles belonging to the United States Postal Service (USPS). Earlier this month, House Oversight Committee Chair Carolyn Maloney asked the USPS to detail how it will spend $3 billion granted by Congress in August for electric vehicles and infrastructure. recharge.

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Reporting by David Shepardson Editing by Chris Reese

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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