The US government currently has only 1% of the EV charging stations it needs

It is reported that the US government has about 1,100 charging stations. According to testimony from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) on Tuesday, it may need more than 100,000 charging stations to support the widespread use of electric vehicles over the next decade. The testimony, first reported by Reuters, digs into the U.S. Postal Service’s efforts to transition its fleet to electric vehicles and the federal fleet transition.

The GAO found that federal agencies like the USPS hold certain incorrect assumptions about the costs and benefits of using gasoline versus electric vehicles — namely that the USPS uses gasoline prices about $2 per gallon below the current national average in its estimates, additionally assuming maintenance and acquisition costs are higher than reality.

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GAO believes that the cost and installation of charging infrastructure is a key challenge in acquiring electric vehicles for federal fleets. Last month, President Joe Biden’s administration unveiled a plan to allocate nearly $5 billion over the next five years to build thousands of electric vehicle charging stations. The plan, part of Biden’s $1 trillion infrastructure bill, was the first $7.5 million in funding approved by Congress in November to fund 500,000 electric vehicle charging stations.

Separately, Biden signed an executive order in December that would stop the government from buying gasoline-powered vehicles by 2035. Government-purchased light-duty vehicles will be emission-free by 2027, the order said. But it’s important to note that the White House’s definition of emission-free includes plug-in hybrids.

Despite these lofty goals, little has been done to electrify the U.S. government fleet. The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) said that as of March 10, the federal agency had only ordered 1,854 additional zero-emission vehicles since its last report.

The U.S. government typically buys about 50,000 cars a year. According to the GSA, the federal fleet currently has about 657,000 cars, SUVs and trucks, of which less than 1% are currently electric.

The Department of Energy’s Federal Energy Management Program provides technical support to federal agencies wishing to purchase electric vehicles and install Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSSE), which can be purchased at a discount through GSA’s EVSE Package Purchase Agreement. GSA negotiated discounted prices for many EV models. Last year, GSA was able to get the Chevrolet Bolt for nearly $10,000 less than the market price. That said, the only other pure electric vehicle, the Nissan Leaf, was offered at a discount of about $1,000 last year under GSA’s program.

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