Thirteen senators have written a letter to President Joe Biden, outlining “key opportunities” to make progress in fleet electrification. The letter, dated Feb. 12, followed Biden’s executive order that committed to electrifying the federal fleet.
The suggestions include issuing a stop order of the United States Postal Services’ (USPS) years-long vehicle acquisitions process that is expected to be finalized in the next few months, and instead pursue electrification. USPS operates more than 200,000 vehicles and consumes 195 million gallons of gasoline each year.
“Current bids for the USPS fleet include gas-powered and hybrid options that would lock in 25 years or more of USPS gasoline consumption,” the senators wrote.
The senators also recommended the General Services Administration issue an order to purchase hundreds of thousands of electric vehicles (EVs), unify fleet management and acquisition instead of continuing to allow agencies to own their own fleets, and install EV charging stations in federal buildings and on federal land.
Lastly, they recommended GSA purchase vehicles after evaluating total cost of ownership (TCO), buying EVs if the TCO is in range of conventional gas-powered counterparts, rather than using a singular focus on upfront costs. GSA should direct the Department of Energy to develop a TCO that uses statewide, regional, and inventory variables to estimate the cost for fleet conversion to electric vehicles — and also include the social cost of carbon in this calculation.
“We are pleased to see the early support you have shown for vehicle electrification and sharply reducing the carbon footprint of the federal fleet,” the senators wrote.
The letter was signed by Democrat and Independent senators Martin Heinrich, Chris Van Hollen, Ron Wyden, Jeffrey Merkley, Brian Schatz, Sheldon Whitehouse, Catherine Cortez Masto, Jacky Rosen, Michael Bennet, Kristen Gillibrand, Benjamin Cardin, Agnus King Jr., and Bernard Sanders.