03/03/2021 - Legal Analysis - Student Work

A New Automotive Era? Promoting Electric Vehicles in the Biden Administration

by Ari Sillman, JD 2021

Introduction

2021 appears to be a banner year for electric vehicles (EVs). Major automakers are launching a range of light- to heavy-duty EV models and have made bold promises to transition away from fossil fuels. Unified Democratic control of Washington is also promising for new federal action to support EVs. The Biden administration in particular has made electric vehicles a centerpiece of its effort to “Build Back Better” and to combat climate change.

Electrification of the U.S. vehicle fleet is essential if the Biden administration hopes to meet its campaign promises on climate change. The transportation sector is responsible for the largest share of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions,[1] as the sector has been slow to adopt clean energy technologies. The Biden administration can hasten this transition by leveraging federal loans, research and development funding, and federal procurement, in addition to strengthening existing regulatory schemes.

Background

During the campaign, then-candidate Biden promised to “ensur[e] the U.S. achieves a 100% clean energy economy and net-zero emissions no later than 2050.”[2] To meet this goal, the Biden administration will need to speed up the electrification of the U.S. vehicle fleet, as traditional efforts to increase vehicle fuel efficiency have proved inadequate. Indeed, by 2020 the real-world fuel economy of light duty vehicles had risen to only 25.7 miles per gallon (mpg), a slight increase from 22.6 mpg in 2010.[3] A major factor behind this slight increase in fuel economy is a growing consumer interest in trucks and SUVs. In 2019, “44% of the [U.S. vehicle] fleet were cars and 56% were trucks . . . the highest percentage of trucks on record and a significant change from 1975.”[4]

Despite these middling improvements in internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles’ fuel economy, there are promising indications that the auto industry is ready for the electrification of the U.S. vehicle fleet. First, EV manufacturers have finally scaled their production. Tesla, for example, produced just over half a million EVs in 2020, despite the pandemic.[5] Second, major auto manufacturers are releasing electric models and committing to electrify their product lines. General Motors, for example, announced in January that it “aspires to eliminate tailpipe emissions from new light-duty vehicles by 2035”[6] and also announced plans to develop electric delivery trucks.[7] Volvo also announced that it will “phase out any car in its global portfolio with a combustion engine” by 2030.[8] This year alone, brands such as Ford, Mercedes Benz, Nissan, Audi, and Hyundai are expected to release new EV models.[9]

Still, there continue to be several technical barriers limiting the adoption of EVs. Historically, the key limits to electrification of the U.S. vehicle fleet have been: “(1) the high cost of producing the lithium ion batteries . . . that propel them; (2) their limited range; and (3) vehicle charging time and location.”[10] While battery costs have fallen and range has increased,[11] the upfront cost of EVs remains high.[12] The latest Nissan Leaf, for example, costs around $7,000 more than the latest Toyota Camry.[13] Vehicle charging is also an issue. While the country’s vehicle charging network has grown significantly in recent years, it still has major gaps and many rapid charging stations “are on the Tesla network and therefore only readily accessible to Tesla drivers.”[14] Furthermore, charging times for rapid charging stations remain much longer than their gasoline counterparts. Together, these factors continue to delay the transition to EVs.

Recent Federal Actions

The Biden administration has begun an ambitious effort to promote the use of EVs. In late January, President Biden signed a number of executive orders to promote the country’s transition away from fossil fuels. These orders included a directive to federal agencies “to harness the purchasing power of the federal government to buy clean, zero-emission vehicles that are made and sourced by union workers right here in America.”[15] Specifically, the executive order directed the heads of the Council for Environmental Quality, the General Services Administration, and the Office of Management and Budget to work with other cabinet officials to develop a plan to use “all available procurement authorities to achieve or facilitate . . . a carbon pollution-free electricity sector no later than 2035; and . . . clean and zero-emission vehicles for Federal, State, local, and Tribal government fleets, including vehicles of the United States Postal Service.”[16]

In addition to issuing executive orders, the administration has worked to repeal and revoke the Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles Rule (discussed more below) issued during the Trump Administration. Upon taking office, President Biden ordered the EPA to “consider[] whether to propose suspending, revising, or rescinding the . . . [SAFE] rule” by July.[17] The Biden Administration also sought, and received, an abeyance in litigation over the rule.[18]

Areas for Further Federal Action

By taking a whole-of-government approach, the Biden administration can meet the President’s campaign promise to transition the U.S. away from fossil fuels.

Clean Air Act Waiver/CAFE Standards

One of the Biden administration’s top environmental priorities is to repeal and replace the Trump Administration’s SAFE Vehicles Rule and to restore California’s waiver to regulate motor vehicle CO2 emissions under Section 209 of the Clean Air Act. The SAFE Vehicles Rule substantially weakened emissions and corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards established by the Obama administration. The rule requires automakers to decrease their CO2 emissions and to increase their corporate average fuel economy by 1.5 percent annually from 2021 to 2026,[19] far less than the roughly 5 percent improvement required by the Obama administration.[20] In addition to amending these standards, the EPA concurrently revoked California’s waiver under the Clean Air Act to establish its own emission standards (see more detailed EELP analysis on both the SAFE Rule and the California waiver repeal).

The EPA and NHTSA are expected to reverse their decision during the Trump administration to weaken CAFE standards and to rescind California’s Clean Air Act waiver. Recent reporting suggests that the Biden administration will promulgate interim CAFE and emissions standards that mirror the deal struck last year between California and several automakers.[21] The California standards require automakers to reduce their emissions by around 3.7 percent annually during the 2021 to 2026 period.[22] These standards also include mechanisms to reward automakers for producing electric vehicles.[23]

While tightening fuel efficiency standards is an important step to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector, these standards, as Former California Air Resources Board Chair Mary Nichols notes, “are ‘not the most relevant tool for dealing with the future of transportation in this country or globally’ as the industry shifts away from internal combustion vehicles toward electric and other zero emission models.”[24] Increasing adoption of zero emission vehicles such as electric vehicles is arguably more important given the Biden administration’s quick timeline to decarbonize the transportation sector.

Federal Loan Programs and R&D Spending

Federal loans and funding for research and development can rapidly speed up the electrification of the U.S. vehicle fleet. While there are several federal loan programs that could be used to facilitate electrification, the Department of Energy (DOE)’s Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM) loan program is uniquely positioned to help advance the Biden administration’s electric vehicle agenda.

Established by the Energy Independence and Security Act (“EISA”) of 2007, the ATVM loan program is designed to “provide low-cost debt capital for fuel-efficient vehicle and eligible component manufacturing in the United States.”[25] These loans include funding for up to “30 percent of the cost of . . . reequipping, expanding, or establishing . . . [manufacturing facilities] “to produce . . . advanced technology vehicles” and “qualifying components.”[26] Advanced technology vehicles are “defined as light-duty vehicles that meet or exceed a 25% improvement in fuel efficiency beyond a 2005 model year base-line of comparable vehicles; and/or ultra-efficient vehicles which achieve a fuel efficiency of 75 miles per gallon or equivalent using alternative fuels.”[27] Qualifying components are those “that the Secretary determines to be . . . designed for advanced technology vehicles; and . . . installed for the purpose meeting the performance requirements of advanced technology vehicles.”[28]

The ATVM program has had a number of successes, including providing Tesla with funding critical for the development of the production facility for the Model S.[29] However, in recent years the ATVM program has stalled and DOE has not authorized an ATVM loan in years. In fiscal year 2019, for example, the DOE’s Loan Programs Office (LPO) reported that it had only 1 active ATVM loan, compared with 19 active loan guarantees under another statutory provision.[30] DOE still has $17.7 billion in remaining ATVM loan authority[31] out of an initial $25 billion allocation.[32] The DOE’s conservative lending stance may be due in part to uncertainty over the program’s future.[33] The Trump administration, for example, repeatedly sought to eliminate the ATVM loan program in its budget requests.[34] The program also suffered negative publicity as two of its recipients defaulted on their loans.[35]

Statutory aspects of the ATVM program have also hindered the loan program. In order to receive an ATVM loan, applicants must demonstrate that their project “is financially viable without the receipt of additional Federal funding associated with the proposed project.”[36] The EISA did not define “financially viable.”[37] In a 2008 Interim Final Rule, DOE interpreted “financially viable” to mean that an “[A]pplicant will be able to make payments of principal and interest on the loan as and when such payments become due . . . and that the applicant has a net present value that is positive, taking all costs, existing and future, into account.”[38] This positive net present value requirement resulted “in some [ATVM] loans not being approved, especially during the low point of the [financial] crisis.”[39] DOE 2019 guidance on financial viability also notes that start-ups seeking to demonstrate their financial viability “must develop proposals that either establish to a high level of confidence that adequate future sales will occur, or that the consequences to DOE of sales under-performance have been mitigated.”[40] In practice, these detailed requirements for financial viability have provided an excuse for DOE’s LPO to stall potentially promising applications. One company reportedly first applied for an ATVM loan in 2009 and by 2018 had yet to receive a decision on its application.[41]

The Biden administration should encourage DOE to revise its definition of “financial viability” to facilitate lending. The administration could look to proposed legislation for guidance. In 2020, Representative Julia Brownley introduced the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Program Reform Act, which would remove the ATVM’s financial viability language in favor of language permitting DOE to grant loans to companies with “a reasonable prospect of repaying the principal and interest on the loan.”[42] Given general Republican opposition to the ATVM program,[43] legislative reform of the ATVM seems unlikely. However, the text proposed by Representative Brownley (or something similar) is not incompatible with the plain language of the EISA. As such, DOE could conduct a formal rulemaking to revise its interpretation of “financially viable,” and, if done properly, such an interpretation would be likely to receive Chevron deference.[44]

The DOE should also build on steps taken during the Trump and Obama administrations to expand eligibility for the ATVM program. In 2017, for example, the LPO clarified that the “manufacturing of infrastructure, including associated hardware and software” for electric vehicles may qualify for an ATVM loan.[45] And in 2020, LPO further clarified that producers and processors of “critical minerals” would be eligible to apply for ATVM loans.[46] Electrification of the transportation sector will require a range of components and subsidiary materials from semiconductors and batteries to lithium and cobalt. Expanding the range of industries that can qualify for direct loans through a broad interpretation of the EISA’s “qualifying components” language will allow DOE to ease supply shortages for electric vehicles and support green jobs in the U.S.[47]

R&D spending on basic research and technology can also advance the Biden administration’s goal of electrifying the U.S. vehicle fleet. Fortunately, the 2020 omnibus spending and appropriations bill created a mandate for DOE to “establish a research, development, and demonstration program to advance the integration of electric vehicles, including plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, onto the electric grid.”[48] The bill also ordered DOE to “establish a grant program to carry out eligible projects related to the modernization of the electric grid,”[49] and provided that eligible projects can include those related to electric vehicles and vehicle charging. Given the current barriers to electric vehicle adoption such as range anxiety and vehicle cost, such research programs will be very important to lowering vehicle costs and overcoming technological and economic barriers to electrification.

Procurement

As noted above, the Biden administration has already taken steps to leverage federal purchasing power to advance vehicle electrification. Increasing federal consumption of electric vehicles and charging stations is an important step in broadening the appeal of electric vehicles, as the federal government operates the largest vehicle fleet in the country. In 2019, for example, the federal government had over 645,000 vehicles, of which only 4,475 were electric.[50] The U.S. Postal Service alone has over 228,000 vehicles.[51] By contrast, UPS has around 125,000 vehicles globally.[52]

Still, electrification of some parts of the fleet may not be straightforward for the new administration. The USPS, for example, is an independent agency and its current Board of Governors and Postmaster General were all appointed by President Trump.[53] The agency just announced that it awarded its new fleet contract to Oshkosh Defense. [54] The proposed new delivery vehicles are not guaranteed to be EVs despite the President’s executive order and the fact that one of the finalists promised to produce an all-electric postal truck.[55] It is not clear that the President has the legal authority to direct the USPS to review its contract award to consider prioritizing an electric vehicle manufacturer or require Oshkosh to produce electric trucks. However, the President may gain more influence over the agency once his nominees to the Board are confirmed.[56]

Procurement for other agencies, however, could have an outsized impact on the fortunes of electric vehicle manufacturers. As Dorothy Robyn, former Commissioner of the Government Service Administration’s Public Buildings Service, notes, “the federal fleet skews large—light- and medium-duty trucks account for 30 percent of the (non-postal) fleet and SUVs another 19 percent—government orders can support and sustain a critical segment of the EV market that manufacturers are just now beginning to serve.”[57] Given broader consumer interest in SUVs and trucks, and limited electric options, the federal government is in a perfect position to provide the needed demand for companies to expand the production of electric trucks.

Potential Legislative Action

The Biden administration will not be able to achieve its goal of electrifying the U.S. vehicle fleet by 2035 without congressional support. While partisan gridlock seems likely, there are several recently introduced, and expected, bills that may help the transition.

Green Act of 2021

Introduced by Representative Mike Thompson, the GREEN Act of 2021 contains a number of incentives to encourage the adoption of electric vehicles.[58] The bill would amend the current electric vehicle tax credit by increasing the number of vehicles a manufacturer can produce before the tax credit expires by 400,000.[59] The bill also allows purchasers of used electric vehicles to qualify for the tax credit and establishes a tax credit for manufacturers of heavy duty electric vehicles and alternative fuel charging stations.[60]

EV Freedom Act

In 2020, Representative Andy Levin introduced the EV Freedom Act.[61] The bill would commission the Department of Transportation to conduct a nationwide study researching federally funded charging network options and would establish a federal electric vehicle charging network that would allow “a driver starting at any point along an eligible road in the continental United States . . . [to] drive to any other point along an eligible road within the continental United States without running out of charging power.”[62]

Future infrastructure bill

The Biden administration and congressional allies have begun negotiation on an infrastructure bill that is expected to include provisions facilitating the transition to electric vehicles.[63] During the campaign, the Biden-Sanders Unity Task Force endorsed a proposal to partner “with state and local governments to install at least 500,000 public charging stations from coast to coast.”[64] A similar proposal is likely to be included in the future infrastructure bill.

Conclusion

The Biden administration has a tremendous opportunity to change the nature of the U.S. vehicle fleet. Private industry and public actors are aligning on a goal to phase out ICE vehicles in the coming years. While there are technical and logistical challenges to overcome, the federal government can play an important role in accelerating this transition by leveraging existing federal loan authorities, regulations, and procurement.

 

 

[1] As of 2019, transportation accounted for an estimate 28 percent of US greenhouse gas emissions, the largest contribution of any sector. See Environmental Protection Agency, Draft Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks 1990-2019 ES-7-ES-9 (2021), https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2021-02/documents/us-ghg-inventory-2021-chapter-executive-summary.pdf.

[2] The Biden Plan for a Clean Energy Revolution and Environmental Justice, https://joebiden.com/climate-plan/ (last visited Mar. 2, 2021).

[3] Environmental Protection Agency, The 2020 EPA Automotive Trends Report: Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Fuel Economy, and Technology since 1975 10 (2021),  https://nepis.epa.gov/Exe/ZyPDF.cgi?Dockey=P1010U68.pdf.

[4] Id. at 15.

[5] Agence France-Presse, Tesla Delivered Record Number of Cars in 2020, IndustryWeek (Jan. 4, 2021), https://www.industryweek.com/leadership/article/21151384/tesla-delivered-record-number-of-cars-in-2020.

[6] General Motors, the Largest U.S. Automaker, Plans to be Carbon Neutral by 2040, General Motors (Jan. 28, 2021),  https://media.gm.com/media/us/en/gm/home.detail.html/content/Pages/news/us/en/2021/jan/0128-carbon.html.

[7] Ben Foldy and Mike Colias, New GM Electric-Truck Business Targets Delivery Market, Wall Street Journal (Jan. 12, 2021), https://www.wsj.com/articles/new-gm-electric-truck-business-targets-delivery-market-11610467968?mod=hp_lista_pos1

[8] Jack Ewing, Volvo Plans to Sell Only Electric Cars by 2030, New York Times (Mar. 2, 2021), https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/02/business/volvo-electric-cars.html.

[9] Jesse Will, 12 Electric Cars to Look Forward to in 2021, Rolling Stone (Jan. 3, 2021), https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-lists/electric-cars-2021-1059920/rivian-r1s-1059942/.

[10] Bill Canis, Corrie E. Clark, and Molly F. Sherlock, Congr. Research Serv., R45747, Vehicle Electrification: Federal and State Issues Affecting Deployment 2 (2019) https://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R45747.pdf.

[11] For example, the Nissan Leaf’s range has increased from 107 miles for the 2017 model to 226 miles for the 2020 model. See Zachary Shahan, Electric Vehicle Adoption — About To Explode? Or Slow & Steady?, CleanTechnica (Nov. 27, 2020), https://cleantechnica.com/2020/11/27/electric-vehicle-adoption-about-to-explode-or-slow-steady/.

[12] In 2019, the average sticker price for an electric vehicle was around $55,000, $19,000 more expensive than the price for an average new car. See https://www.caranddriver.com/research/a31544842/how-much-is-an-electric-car/.

[13] Compare https://www.caranddriver.com/nissan/leaf with https://www.caranddriver.com/toyota/camry.

[14] Abby Brown et al., National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Trends from the Alternative Fueling Station Locator: First Quarter 2020 v (2020), https://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy20osti/77508.pdf.

[15] Remarks by President Biden Before Signing Executive Actions on Tackling Climate Change, Creating Jobs, and Restoring Scientific Integrity, White House (Jan. 27, 2021), https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/speeches-remarks/2021/01/27/remarks-by-president-biden-before-signing-executive-actions-on-tackling-climate-change-creating-jobs-and-restoring-scientific-integrity/.

[16] Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad, White House (Jan. 27, 2021), https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/presidential-actions/2021/01/27/executive-order-on-tackling-the-climate-crisis-at-home-and-abroad/.

[17] Executive Order on Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science to Tackle the Climate Crisis, White House (Jan. 20, 2021), https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/presidential-actions/2021/01/20/executive-order-protecting-public-health-and-environment-and-restoring-science-to-tackle-climate-crisis/.

[18] http://blogs2.law.columbia.edu/climate-change-litigation/wp-content/uploads/sites/16/case-documents/2021/20210208_docket-19-1230_order.pdf.

[19] https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2020-04-30/pdf/2020-06967.pdf, 24175.

[20] See Coral Davenport, U.S. to Announce Rollback of Auto Pollution Rules, a Key Effort to Fight Climate Change, N.Y. Times (Mar. 30, 2020), https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/30/climate/trump-fuel-economy.html.

[21] See Maxine Joselow, EPA races to draft interim auto standards for CO2, E&E News (Feb. 1, 2021),  https://www.eenews.net/stories/1063723965/.

[22] See generally https://ww2.arb.ca.gov/sites/default/files/2020-08/clean-car-framework-documents-all-bmw-ford-honda-volvo-vw.pdf.

[23] Id. at 11-13.

[24] Nichola Groom and David Shepardson, California official sees state auto emissions deal as ‘template’ for Biden, Reuters (Nov. 12, 2020), https://www.reuters.com/article/us-california-emissions-autos/california-official-sees-state-auto-emissions-deal-as-template-for-biden-idUSKBN27S3AM.

[25] Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program, Loan Programs Office, https://www.energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2020/01/f70/DOE-LPO-ATVM-Jan2020.pdf (last visited Mar. 1, 2021).

[26] 42 U.S.C. § 17013(b)

[27] Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program, Department of Energy, https://www.energy.gov/lpo/title-xvii/products-services/advanced-technology-vehicles-manufacturing-loan-program (last visited Mar. 2, 2021).

[28] 42 U.S.C. § 17013(a)(4).

[29] See Steven Overly, This government loan program helped Tesla at a critical time. Trump wants to cut it., Washington Post (Mar. 16, 2017), https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/innovations/wp/2017/03/16/this-government-loan-program-helped-tesla-at-a-critical-time-trump-wants-to-cut-it/.

[30] Loan Programs Office, A Decade of Performance: Annual Portfolio Status Report Fiscal Year 2019 5 (2020) https://www.energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2020/04/f73/DOE-LPO-APSR-2019-FINAL.pdf.

[31] Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program, supra note 27.

[32] 42 U.S.C. § 17013(d)(1)

[33] See Taite R. McDonald et al., DOE Loan Program: Where We Are and What to Expect Post-Election, Holland & Knight (Nov. 3, 2020), https://www.hklaw.com/en/insights/publications/2020/11/doe-loan-program-where-we-are-and-what-to-expect-post-election.

[34] See, e.g., Department of Energy, Department of Energy FY 2020 Congressional Budget Request 443 (2019), https://www.energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2019/04/f61/doe-fy2020-budget-volume-3-Part-2.pdf.

[35] See, e.g., Tom Hals and Deepa Seetharaman, Fisker founders, managers sued for misleading investor, Reuters (Dec. 30, 2013), https://www.reuters.com/article/us-autos-fisker-lawsuit/fisker-founders-managers-sued-for-misleading-investor-idUSBRE9BT0PO20131230; Mark Harris, The loan program that buoyed Tesla, stalled out, and landed on Trump’s cut list, ArsTechnica (Mar. 14, 2018), https://arstechnica.com/cars/2018/03/trump-may-kill-the-federal-green-car-program-but-it-was-already-on-the-ropes/.

[36] 42 U.S.C. § 17013(d)(3).

[37] See id.

[38] 10 C.F.R. § 611.2

[39] See Bill Canis and Brent D. Yacob, Congr. Research Serv., R42064, The Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM) Loan Program: Status and Issues 9 (2015), https://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R42064.pdf.

[40] Loan Programs Office, Guidance for Applicants to the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program 8 (2019), https://www.energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2019/05/f62/Guidance_for_Potential_ATVM_Applicants_May2019.pdf.

[41] Mark Harris, The loan program that buoyed Tesla, stalled out, and landed on Trump’s cut list, ArsTechnica (Mar. 14, 2018), https://arstechnica.com/cars/2018/03/trump-may-kill-the-federal-green-car-program-but-it-was-already-on-the-ropes/.

[42] Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Program Reform Act, H.R. 5860, 116th Cong. § 2 (2020).

[43] See, e.g., Ryan McCrimmon, For GOP, Death of Manufacturing Loan Program Finally in Sight, Roll Call (May 16, 2018), https://www.rollcall.com/2018/05/16/for-gop-death-of-manufacturing-loan-program-finally-in-sight/.

[44] See, e.g., Guedes v. BATFE, 920 F.3d 1, 41 (DC. Cir. 2019) (“If there is ambiguity, the meaning of the statute becomes whatever the agency decides to fill the gaps with, as long as the agency’s interpretation is reasonable and ‘speaks with the force of law.’”).

[45] Eligibility for the Deployment and Manufacture of Infrastructure for Alternative Fuel Vehicles and Electric Vehicles, Loan Programs Office (Jan. 9, 2017),  https://www.energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2017/01/f34/FactSheet_Vehicle_Announcements_01_9_17.pdf.

[46] DOE Issues Notice of Guidance for Potential Loan Applicants Involving Critical Minerals, Department of Energy (Dec. 1, 2020), https://www.energy.gov/articles/doe-issues-notice-guidance-potential-loan-applicants-involving-critical-minerals.

[47] See, e.g., David Iaconangelo, DOE program may save—or thwart—Biden’s energy plan, E&E News (Jan. 26, 2021), https://www.eenews.net/stories/1063723511 (“Gene Berdichevsky, chief executive at Sila Nanotechnologies, said he was optimistic that companies like his would qualify for a [ATVM] loan. The startup makes a silicon anode that can be incorporated into batteries to improve their energy density.”).

[48] https://rules.house.gov/sites/democrats.rules.house.gov/files/BILLS-116HR133SA-RCP-116-68.pdf, 1013.

[49] Id. at 1183-84.

[50] Federal Fleet Open Data Visualization, Government Services Administration, https://d2d.gsa.gov/report/federal-fleet-open-data-visualization (last visited Mar. 2, 2021).

[51] Postal Facts, United States Postal Service, https://facts.usps.com/postal-service-has-more-than-200000-vehicles/ (last visited Mar. 2, 2021).

[52] United Parcel Service, Annual Report (Form 10-K) (Feb. 20, 2020), http://www.investors.ups.com/static-files/26a19ce8-c3a0-4044-b63f-a91077e3c6a4.

[53] John Bowden, Democrat elected chair of Postal Service Board of Governors, The Hill (Feb. 9, 2020), https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/538049-obama-administration-official-elected-chair-of-postal-service-board.

[54] U.S. Postal Service Awards Contract to Launch Multi-Billion-Dollar Modernization of Postal Delivery Vehicle Fleet, United States Postal Service (Feb. 23, 2021), https://about.usps.com/newsroom/national-releases/2021/0223-multi-billion-dollar-modernization-of-postal-delivery-vehicle-fleet.htm.

[55] Jerry Hirsch, Why The Next Postal Service Mail Truck May Be Electric, Trucks.com (Feb. 1, 2021),  https://www.trucks.com/2021/02/01/electric-mail-trucks-make-sense/.

[56] Thomas Kaplan and Hailey Fuchs, Biden Seeks More Control Over Postal Service With New Appointments, N.Y. Times (Feb. 24, 2021), https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/24/us/politics/joe-biden-usps.html.

[57] Dorothy Robyn, Driving Change: A Front-Loaded, Aggressive Strategy for Federal Procurement of Electric Vehicles, ITIF (Dec. 7, 2020), https://itif.org/publications/2020/12/07/driving-change-front-loaded-aggressive-strategy-federal-procurement-electric.

[58] See generally GREEN Act of 2021, H.R. 848, 117th Cong. (2021).

[59] Id. at § 401

[60] Id. at §§ 402-05.

[61] See generally EV Freedom Act, H.R. 5770, 117th Cong. (2021).

[62] See id. at §§ 3-5.

[63] Mike Memoli and Carol E. Lee, Biden prepares to move to next phase of his agenda with infrastructure push, NBC News (Feb. 11, 2021), https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/white-house/biden-prepares-move-next-phase-his-agenda-infrastructure-push-n1257567.

[64] Biden-Sanders Unity Task Force, Biden-Sanders Unity Task Force Recommendations: Combating the Climate Crisis and Pursuing Environmental Justice 48 (2020), https://www.politico.com/f/?id=00000173-3016-d042-a37b-7a57d88c0000.