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Biden Signs “Buy American” Order and Announces Government Cars Be Electrified

On January 25, 2021, the new US President Biden signed the “Buy American” executive order and stated that he planed to replace US government vehicles with electric vehicles assembled in the United States.

According to data from the U.S. General Services Administration, as of 2019, the U.S. government has 645,000 vehicles, driving 4.5 billion miles and consuming 375 million gallons of gasoline and diesel. In 2019, the U.S. government spent $4.4 billion on federal vehicles. And as of July in 2020, only 3,215 of the US government’s cars were electric vehicles.

However, replacing a fleet of this size with electric vehicles produced in the United States is very expensive and takes time. Biden did not specify the specific time plan for the replacement of electric vehicles. The new president said that the replacement of the fleet would help his government’s plan to create 1 million jobs in the US auto industry. It is unclear whether Biden’s plan includes plug-in hybrid vehicles. When discussing these plans, the new fleet he mentioned refers to “net zero emission” electric vehicles.

In addition, Biden also announced that he planed to use American-made parts more strictly in government-purchased vehicles. The current standard requires that at least 50% of auto parts come from the United States, which will make it more difficult to replace the fleet.

Biden said: “The 50% threshold is not high enough. The way we measure the source of components does not take into account the employment and economic activities in the United States, but we will change this. The executive order I signed today not only requires companies to produce more parts and components but also requires the value of these parts to contribute to our economy, as measured by the number of jobs created and/or supported in the United States.”

Biden supported the new consumer subsidy policy, promoted electric vehicles to replace old cars with lower energy efficiency and encouraged the construction or reorganization of factories to assemble electric vehicles and parts. He also promised to build 550,000 electric vehicle charging stations and invest more funds in research on clean energy.

Currently, there are not many pure electric vehicles assembled in the United States. Kristin Dziczek, vice president of the Center for Automotive Research, said: “Currently, there are very few products, but the automotive industry is about to launch a large number of new products, many of which are produced in North America. And almost all US plants will produce hybrid or electric vehicles.”

General Motors said in a statement, “President Biden’s commitment to support American manufacturing has encouraged the company and it is looking forward to the details of the order.” Ford said it “believes in investing in the United States, the American people, American goods and American services. It must be a national mission.” Last year, Ford launched the “Build for America” campaign. As of press time, Tesla has not yet responded.

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