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Electric Vehicles and Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment

The transportation sector generates the largest share of emissions in the U.S. accounting for 28 percent of all emissionsopens in new window or roughly 6,340 Million Metric Tons of CO2 equivalent. Transitioning the federal fleet from combustion engine vehicles to electric is a primary pillar of the federal government's effort to decarbonize the transportation sector and reduce emissions. By reducing vehicle emissions, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) will help improve the health of our citizens and the future of our planet.

The federal non-tactical fleet, which carries out a variety of essential agency missions, from food inspection and nuclear waste cleanup to forest and land management, is approximately 656,000 vehicles and drove 4.3 billion miles in 2022 on 379 million gallons of fuel. This equates to 3.4 million metric tons of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions -- equivalent to the energy use in 424,503 homes for one year or 3.78 billion pounds of coal burned. Important components of this effort include reducing the federal fleet’s footprint by transitioning to electric vehicles (EVs) and other zero emission vehicles (ZEVs), as well as encouraging additional footprint reductions among commuting federal employees.

Decorative image of an EV charging spot in a parking lot.

Getting started on deploying Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) (also known as electric vehicle charging infrastructure) can seem daunting, with many decisions to make. The U.S. General Services Administration and its federal partners support federal agencies and other eligible entitiesopens in new window in their efforts to transition to an all-electric vehicle fleet and provide the tools and resources needed to enable streamlined procurement, installation, and maintenance of EVSE. The solutions and resources available aim to alleviate confusion, reduce redundancies, simplify decision making, and help fleet, building, and energy managers select an appropriate course of action. All efforts to deploy EVSE should begin with gathering information, then assessing your site specific needs, and selecting an appropriate plan of action. Plans of action will differ simply because every site is different, utility incentives differ and every site has a different vehicle makeup from quantity of vehicles to vehicle battery sizes to vehicle utilizations. Different contract vehicles may support the project and can be dependent on existing agency resources, authorities and appropriations. 

The information in this module is intended for any institution seeking to install, manage, operate or maintain electric vehicles and EVSE.

Federal Requirements

Federal fleet requirementsopens in new window and agency policy guide, direct and encourage federal fleet electrification efforts. To help meet these mandates, GSA is leading by example and proactively working to provide resources, tools, and access to the products and services that its partners seek to support its customer agencies and make the federal fleet electrification initiative a success.

Other federal requirements accelerate U.S. vehicle electrification and hence federal fleet efforts:

  • FAST Act of 2015 Section 1413 (c)opens in new window and DOE Guidanceopens in new window: Authorizes the federal agencies to install (on a reimbursable basis) battery recharging stations in GSA-owned parking areas for vehicles of GSA employees, tenant federal agencies, and other authorized individuals. Requires the GSA or the federal agency to charge fees to individuals to recuperate costs to procure, maintain, operate and install such stations.
  • 42 U.S.C. § 13212(f)(2)opens in new window: No federal agency shall acquire a light duty motor vehicle or medium duty passenger vehicle that is not a low greenhouse gas emitting vehicle with certain exceptions (see guidance here).
  • 42 U.S.C. 13212(b)opens in new window" The federal government must acquire 75% of light-duty vehicle acquisitions as alternative fueled vehicles.
  • Executive Order 14057opens in new window: Federal agencies must transition their vehicle fleets to 100 percent ZEVs by 2035 and100 percent zero-emission light-duty vehicles by 2027.

Other federal requirements accelerate U.S. vehicle electrification and hence federal fleet efforts:

  • Executive Order 14037opens in new window: 50 percent of all new passenger cars and light trucks sold in 2030 be zero-emission vehicles, including battery electric, plug-in hybrid electric, or fuel cell electric vehicles
  • Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Actopens in new window:
  • Inflation Reduction Actopens in new window: Provides Americans tax credits to purchase new and used electric vehicles, as well as making an additional $3 billion accessible to help support access to EV charging for economically disadvantaged communities through the Neighborhood Access and Equity Grant Program. Allows for elective payment for clean vehicles for tax exempt entities.
  • The CHIPS and Science Actopens in new window: Provides $52.7 billion for American semiconductor research, development, manufacturing and workforce development. This includes $39 billion in manufacturing incentives, including $2 billion for the legacy chips used in automobiles.

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Electric Vehicles and Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment Components

  • Parking Garage - Internal Space
  • Parking Garage- External Space

Acquiring EVs and EVSE

The following resources are available to federal customers to streamline the EV and EVSE acquisition and installation processes:

Planning for EV and EVSE

There are many factors to consider when planning to acquire, install, and maintain EV and EVSE. The Federal Fleet ZEV Readiness Centeropens in new window provides step-by-step guidance on how to successfully electrify the fleets. The Department of Energyopens in new window  and GSAopens in new window  also provide additional training.
Here are considerations and resources to ensure a well-informed project at every phase:

Lessons Learned

  • Plan for change
    EV and EVSE technology is novel and constantly evolving. Prepare for evolving guidance, mandates, and emerging technologies. Automakers provide publicly available operational videos and GSA and DOE maintain up to date training and offer in person and virtual training such as FedFleetopens in new window, the Energy Exchangeopens in new window and the EVSE Showcaseopens in new window. Consider setting aside a portion of your budget to account for a shifting EV and EVSE landscape, including increased technology costs, installation costs, cultural change training and possible increased labor costs with the integration of subject matter experts and consultants into your project team.
  • No one size fits all approach
    Each EV fleet and EVSE installation project is different and requires thorough project plan and project scoping. There is no one approach that will work for every project- be sure to understand your current EV and EVSE capabilities in every capacity, from your project team’s bandwidth to your existing site infrastructure.
  • Senior level buy-in
    Securing senior level buy-in is essential for a successful EV and/or EVSE project. Constructing a solid project plan with clearly defined milestones and can help you secure the financial and logistical support you need from senior management. Use the Case Studies below and these Fleet Electrification Success Storiesopens in new window to help you build a case for your project.

Case Studies

The Army Corps of Engineers in Galveston, TX received a level 2 solar stationnon government site opens in new window. This station is not tied to the grid and took just 4-1/2 hours to set up before it was ready to charge vehicles. According to the technician, this setup will withstand winds up to 150 mph. The motor driven platform above the parking area tracks the sun's movement for continuous charging, ensuring the station always has adequate battery power.

In December, 2022 the Forest Service announced a pilot programnon government site opens in new window for F-150 Lightning trucks at its field site in Dearborn, MI. This pilot program creates a great opportunity to see how the new electric trucks handle rugged and remote missions and understand the viability of wide-spread adoption in rough terrains. Drivers should keep in mind these vehicles have less electrical capacity than non-EV pickups and so upfitting is limited. For example the 2022 F150 Lightning Pro has 55 amps of available electrical capacity.

Department of Energy

Check out The Department of Energy’s Federal fleet electrification success stories: DOE Electrification Success Storiesopens in new window.

Additional Resources and Trainings

There are a variety of resources and trainings available to support federal fleet electrification efforts, including:

  • GSA ZEV & EVSE Resourcesopens in new window:  A one-stop shop for Federal agencies to get electric vehicle and infrastructure help, including product and service offering guides, procurement guidance, current events, and points of contact.
  • GSA Fleet Trainingopens in new window:  Check out GSA’s repository of past and upcoming training courses, designed to help customers understand hot topics and get answers to their most pressing electrification questions.
  • FEMP EV Champion Trainingopens in new window:  Check out additional training, toolkits, success stories, procurement guidance, and support resources offered by DOE to help agencies navigate their electrification journeys.
  • DOE Federal Fleet Resourcesopens in new window:  Check out the Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP), designed to help the federal fleet community access the latest information, applications, and resources related to fleet efficiency and electrification.

Questions or requests for additional information can be directed to the following:

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