Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat, has taken a significant step toward environmental sustainability by signing an executive directive that mandates the state’s vehicle fleet to transition entirely to zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs). The directive sets ambitious targets for converting state-owned light-duty vehicles by 2033 and medium and heavy-duty vehicles by 2040.
This initiative, applauded by clean energy advocates, the United Auto Workers (UAW) union, and the Detroit Regional Chamber, aims to reduce pollution and lower operational costs in Michigan. Governor Whitmer emphasized that this move aligns with Michigan’s automotive industry’s shift towards zero-emission technology and demonstrates the state’s commitment to leading by example.
Whitmer detailed the directive’s specifics, including the gradual conversion of state vehicles to ZEVs, prioritizing those with higher mileage and those in communities affected by higher pollution levels. The plan also involves installing electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in densely populated areas.
The governor’s directive follows her recent signing of groundbreaking legislation setting some of the nation’s most ambitious green energy targets. This directive is part of a broader push to enhance EV manufacturing and adoption within Michigan.
UAW President Shawn Fain praised Michigan’s commitment to the electric vehicle transition, emphasizing the importance of supporting American autoworkers during this historic industry shift. Fain urged the state to purchase union-made EVs for its fleet.
Glenn Stevens Jr., Vice President of Automotive and Mobility Initiatives at the Detroit Regional Chamber, highlighted the significance of transitioning state vehicles to clean energy systems. He noted that Michigan’s initiative would serve as a leading example for both public and personal transportation nationwide.
Michigan joins a growing list of states, including New Mexico, moving towards the complete electrification of their public vehicle fleets.
In a related move at the federal level, President Biden issued an executive order in 2021, directing that all federal vehicle acquisitions be ZEVs by 2035, with all light-duty vehicles to be electric by 2027. This federal initiative is expected to incur significant costs in the coming years.