Whitmer Orders All State Government Vehicles To Be 100% Electric Days After Signing Extreme Green Energy Bill | JP
Michigan state government agencies must move to 100% “zero-emission” vehicles (ZEVs) by 2040, per an executive order signed by Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer on Tuesday.
Whitmer’s order requires state agencies to shift the state government’s fleet of around 9,000 vehicles to electric beginning with light-duty cars by 2033 and moving on to medium- and heavy-duty vehicles by 2040. The governor’s directive came just a week after she signed one of the most extreme green energy bills in the nation, requiring utility providers to transition to completely carbon-free energy generation by the end of the next decade.
“Michigan is on the cutting-edge of mobility and electrification,” Whitmer’s executive directive stated. “Our world-leading auto industry is making the switch to electric, and we continue to attract battery, semiconductor, and clean energy investments from other states and nations. We must usher the future of mobility and clean energy into Michigan by winning projects and leading by example in state government.”
“Getting this done will help drive demand of Michigan-made electric vehicles, lower gas and maintenance costs for the state since ZEVs cost far less to fuel and maintain and reduce air and noise pollution in our communities,” Whitmer added in a statement.
The executive order was short on details about the cost of transitioning the entire state government’s fleet of vehicles to electric. A 2021 report from the Michigan Department of Technology, Management, and Budget stated that the Michigan government has 8,788 on-road vehicles, which include dozens of buses and semi-trucks. Among the state agencies included in Whitmer’s directive is the Michigan State Police, which uses hundreds of coupes and sedans and over 1,000 SUVs for law enforcement.
State agencies can request exemptions from the directive for certain vehicles, but must “offer alternative emission reduction options including hybrids,” according to Whitmer’s press release.
Michigan House Republican Leader Matt Hall slammed Whitmer’s EV directive, telling JP that the Democrats’ EV and green energy push is hurting the automotive industry and hard-working Michiganders.
“Joe Biden and Gretchen Whitmer’s green energy schemes are accelerating the decline of Michigan’s automotive manufacturing industry, and the governor’s decision to replace all of Michigan’s state fleet with electric vehicles is just the latest step on this destructive path,” Hall said. “Michigan families have determined that EVs are too expensive and unreliable for them, which is why these vehicles are just sitting on car lots around the state.”
Whitmer said the switch to EVs will help Michigan car manufacturers that are rapidly moving to EV production as the Biden administration pushes American car companies and consumers to get on board with its plan to have “50 percent of all new vehicle sales be electric by 2030.” Of the nearly 9,000 vehicles operated by Michigan state government agencies, only three are electric, according to Whitmer’s communications director Bobby Leddy, The Detroit News reported.
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The governor’s executive directive is on par with her push for Michigan car manufacturers to embrace EVs as the future of transportation. In February, Whitmer announced plans for an EV battery plant in Marshall, Michigan, saying it is “expected to create 2,500 good-paying jobs” while helping “support Ford’s goal of producing two million electric vehicles annually by 2026.”
That plan, however, came to a screeching halt in September when Ford paused the construction of the Marshall battery plant. Now, Ford says it’s scaling back its commitment to the Marshall plant, cutting 800 jobs and over $1 billion.
Ford, one of Michigan’s “big three” car manufacturers, recently received a $9.2 billion loan from the Biden administration intended to help construct three electric vehicle battery plants — none of which are in Michigan — after the motor company projected the EV push would cost it $3 billion in 2023. That projection was bumped up to $4.5 billion in losses over EVs a few months later, meaning Ford lost around $32,000 for every EV it sold during the second quarter of 2023.
“Democrats’ artificially accelerated shift to EVs will eliminate Michigan jobs at existing factories,” Hall told JP. “And their mandates for unreliable green energy will lead to higher electricity prices on manufacturers — imposing additional costs on Michigan’s automotive industry that will kill more Michigan jobs and move more manufacturing overseas.”