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Biden says he will replace the entire federal fleet with electric vehicles

ABC News logo ABC News 1/26/2021
Joe Biden wearing a suit and tie © Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

President Joe Biden announced the ambitious plan of replacing the entire fleet of autos owned by the federal government with electric vehicles as his administration takes steps to embrace clean energy.

Biden also pledged that these new electric vehicles will be made in the U.S.

"The federal government also owns an enormous fleet of vehicles, which we're going to replace with clean, electric vehicles made right here in America, by American workers," Biden said Monday during remarks as he signed his "Made in America" executive order.

Joe Biden wearing a suit and tie: President Joe Biden speaks about administration plans to strengthen American manufacturing as Vice President Kamala Harris listens in the South Court Auditorium at the White House in Washington, D.C., Jan. 25, 2021. © Kevin Lamarque/Reuters President Joe Biden speaks about administration plans to strengthen American manufacturing as Vice President Kamala Harris listens in the South Court Auditorium at the White House in Washington, D.C., Jan. 25, 2021.

The president added that this will create "a million autoworker jobs."

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The federal government owns some 645,000 vehicles total, according to a 2019 General Services Administration report, with more than 225,000 of those belonging to the U.S. Postal Service and more than 170,000 of those belonging to military agencies.

Of the total vehicles owned by the government, however, only 4,475 are electric vehicles, according to the report.

The president did not give a timeline for when this massive vehicle replacement goal will be implemented.

Maya Katz-Ali charges her electric car at a charging at a station along Lakeshore Avenue, Nov. 10, 2020, in Oakland, Calif. © San Francisco Chronicle/Hearst Newspapers via Getty Images, FILE Maya Katz-Ali charges her electric car at a charging at a station along Lakeshore Avenue, Nov. 10, 2020, in Oakland, Calif.

Shares for U.S.-based electric vehicle companies spiked on Tuesday after Biden's announcement, with Lordstown Motors trading nearly 20% higher and Workhorse Group trading nearly 30% higher.

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Biden's "Made in America" executive order, signed on Monday, aims to fulfill a campaign promise to increase the amount of federal spending that goes to American companies. The order essentially closes loopholes that allowed foreign products to be purchased, among other measures to boost American manufacturing.

a sign on the side of a road: An electric car owner prepares to charge his car at an electric car charging station on Sept.23, 2020 in Corte Madera, Calif. © Justin Sullivan/Getty Images, FILE An electric car owner prepares to charge his car at an electric car charging station on Sept.23, 2020 in Corte Madera, Calif.

Biden's push toward electric vehicles is in line with environmental goals and policies he campaigned on that contrast sharply with actions of of the previous administration. Biden notably rejoined the international Paris climate agreement -- which Donald Trump took the country out of -- on his first day in office.

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