Senior US officials held a meeting on Wednesday with major automotive leaders including Tesla chief executive Elon Musk and General Motors head Mary Barra to discuss electric vehicles (EVs) and charging.
Congress last year approved $7.5 billion in government funding for EV charging stations but legislation has stalled for new tax incentives to purchase and build EVs.
“There was broad consensus that charging stations and vehicles need to be interoperable and provide a seamless user experience, no matter what car you drive or where you charge your EV,” the White House said in a statement.
The US government may need more than 100,000 charging stations to support widespread EV use, a government watchdog told a congressional hearing on Tuesday.
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) said in testimony that as of March, federal agencies own about 1,100 charging stations.
President Joe Biden signed an executive order in December directing the US government to end purchases of petrol-powered vehicles by 2035.
The House Oversight and Reform Committee is holding a hearing on the US Postal Service’s (USPS) plans to buy mostly gas-powered next-generation delivery vehicles. USPS is not covered by Biden’s executive order.
Less than 0.3% of the government’s 657,000 vehicles were electric as of 2020. In 2020, the government spent $4.2 billion on vehicle costs, including $730 million for fuel.
The General Services Administration (GSA) on Tuesday said that as of March 10, federal agencies have ordered an additional 1,854 zero-emission vehicles since the prior report.
The GAO noted that the GSA has been able to negotiate lower purchase prices for some EV models, saying that the “GSA negotiated a discounted price for the Chevrolet Bolt in fiscal year 2021 – at almost $10,000 below its market retail price.”
- Reuters, with additional editing by George Russell