Federal agencies have boosted their purchases of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles but would have purchased more had it not been for supply chain hurdles, the White House reported.
Federal agencies quintupled their purchases of EVs and PHEVs since September 2021. EVs represented 12% of light-duty purchases in 2022, or 3,567 vehicles, compared to 1% of vehicle acquisitions in 2021.
"But for the supply chain issues that impacted the auto industry’s ability to fulfill all the Federal Government’s (zero emission vehicles) orders in FY2022, ZEVs would have achieved approximately 20% of acquisitions in 2022," the White House said.
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported federal agencies purchased 257 electric vehicles in the 2021 budget year but have fewer EV charging ports than they need.
In December 2021, Biden issued an executive order directing the federal government to end purchases of gas-powered vehicles by 2035 and that 100% of light-duty federal acquisitions be EV or PHEV purchases by 2027.
The GAO reported of 33,000 light-duty vehicles acquired in the 2021 budget year, agencies bought 138 EVs and 119 plug-in hybrids.
Charging ports remain an issue. As of March, federal agencies owned and operated over 4,000 charging ports in around 1,050 charging locations in less than 500 cities, GAO said.
But the General Services Administration (GSA) estimates the federal government will need over 100,000 charging ports because agencies need at least one charging port for every two electric vehicles acquired, the report said.
As of 2020, the federal government operated 610,000 vehicles that traveled over 4 billion miles and consumed over 360 million gallons of fuel.
The government also owns 102,000 law enforcement vehicles which are covered by Biden's order unless exempted by an agency head. GAO said they "may have additional performance requirements that may not be met by currently available zero-emission vehicle models."
The Homeland Security Department became the first federal agencies to debut an EV for law enforcement use. The vehicle is a Ford Mustang Mach-E.
The U.S. Postal Service is exempt from Biden's order. The USPS operates 200,000 vehicles.