US President Joe Biden has said he wants to replace vehicles in the current government fleet with electric vehicles that are made by Americans in the country itself. It is an announcement that has caught the attention of many, one being Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess who applauded the decision and then went on to underline his company’s strategies for an EV push in the United States.
Biden, who took oath as the 46th US President on January 20, has been pushing forward with plans to deal with climate change. It is a fight in which battery-powered vehicles are going to have a major say. Among many of his plans, Biden has said he would want all traditional vehicles in the government fleet to be replaced by EVs. “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,” he said recently.
Diess was quick to congratulate Joe Biden and also took the opportunity to mention how Volkswagen is betting big on EVs.
“Dear @POTUS, you want to replace your fleet by #EVs. Good decision and good timing, @VWGroup is ready to deliver! We will start our e-offensive in the US. And by 2022 we will produce our #ID4 also locally in Chattanooga,” Diess wrote on his Twitter account which he created recently.
Volkswagen has been figuring out a larger share and say in the worldwide EV market, one that is presently dominated by Tesla. And while Tesla is headquartered in California, it is now that Volkswagen is looking at boosting its presence in the field of electric mobility in the US.
The time of internal combustion engines may indeed be coming to an end as more and more automakers begin to bet big on battery power. And with governments, the world looking to support electric mobility, companies like Volkswagen are eager to close the gap with Tesla.
In the particular case of what Biden said, the move to replace government vehicles with EVs could be a major increase for manufacturers with such options. There are around 650,000 vehicles in the US government fleet. Replacing these with EVs could cost around $20 billion or even more. But this also means there is massive scope. EV makers would now look at not just going mass market but may also watch this fat space of US government fleet, as indicated by Diess.