Biden plans to replace the US government’s fleet of 650,000 vehicles with electric models in a shift to clean energy

Joe Biden
President Joe Biden.

  • President Joe Biden said Monday he plans to replace the “enormous fleet” of government vehicles with electric models.
  • The switch will help create one million new autoworker jobs in the US, he said.
  • Biden said he’ll change the rules that currently allow vehicles to be considered American-made even if they have parts made in other countries.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

President Joe Biden said on Monday his new administration will replace the US government’s fleet of around 650,000 vehicles with electric models in a bid to shift to clean energy. 

Whilst signing a new “Buy American” executive order, Biden said: “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 made by American workers.”

It’s unclear when the electric vehicles will rollout and which models they will be. Reuters reported it could cost $20 billion or more to fully replace the fleet. The White House didn’t immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment. 

Biden, 78, said the fleet replacement will help create one million new jobs in the American auto industry.

“This will be the largest mobilization of public investment and procurement, infrastructure and R&D, since World War II,” said Biden, who was sworn into office on January 20.

Read more: Biden’s China policy is about to be just as assertive as Trump’s, but much more effective

The 46th President of the US criticized the current rules that allow vehicles to be considered American-made when bought by the US government even if they carry components which come from other countries.

The current standards require at least half a vehicle’s parts to be US-made to be considered American, according to Biden.

“We’re going to change that as well. The executive action I’m signing today will not only require the companies make more of their components in America, but that the value of those components is contributing to our economy, measured by things like a number of American jobs created and supported.”

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Pfizer and the Trump administration are reportedly close to agreeing 70 million extra vaccine doses for next year to plug a potentially massive shortfall in the US

Donald Trump
US President Donald Trump.

  • Pfizer is nearing a deal with the US government to deliver tens of millions more doses of its vaccine in 2021, people with knowledge of the matter told The New York Times.
  • In exchange, the government would grant Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech better access to manufacturing supplies for the vaccine, the people said.
  • The deal could be announced as early as Wednesday, the Times reported.
  • The US ordered 100 million doses of Pfizer’s two-shot vaccine in July, but declined an additional agreement to buy more. Instead, it looked to make agreements with other manufacturers.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Pfizer is reportedly close to striking a deal with the Trump administration to supply tens of million more doses of its COVID-19 vaccine to the US in 2021, people familiar with the discussions told The New York Times Tuesday.

The US government wants 100 million additional doses of Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech’s vaccine between April to June, the Times reported. The drugmaker has said it could supply 70 million doses, the people said, provided it gets better access to manufacturing supplies through the Defense Production Act.

This access would help Pfizer to acquire the nine specialized products it needs to make the vaccine, the people said.

The deal, which could be announced as soon as Wednesday, would help offset a vaccine shortage that could leave up to 110 million Americans unprotected for the first half of 2021, the Times reported.

The US ordered 100 million doses of Pfizer’s two-shot vaccine for $1.95 billion in July – enough to vaccinate 50 million people – but the Trump administration declined an additional agreement to buy a second batch of the vaccine in late summer.

Instead, the government looked to make agreements with up to six other manufacturers.

Pfizer officials first started asking Gen. Gustave F. Perna, the chief operating officer of the US’s Operation Warp Speed program, for help in accessing supplies in September and have been unhappy about the lack of response, according to documents seen by Times. 

One person familiar with the matter told the Times that if the government had agreed to prioritize Pfizer’s supply needs earlier, the company would now be more likely to fully meet the Trump administration’s demands.

Other drugmakers, including Moderna, used federal money for research and development of their vaccines, but Pfizer did not.

The government has not prioritized supplies for Pfizer because it wanted to protect its investment in the other companies under Warp Speed’s umbrella, the people told the Times.

Read more: The FDA said Friday that it will grant emergency-use authorization for Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine. From $9 million to $18 million, here’s how much the pharma giant’s executives were paid in 2019.

A senior official from the Trump administration told the Times the government had avoided helping Pfizer because the drugmaker refused to promise that it would use the materials to make vaccines solely for American citizens.

“It’s our obligation under that type of priority rating to make sure that assets are used only for US sales or production,” the official said. “They weren’t willing to do that.”

Pfizer’s vaccine, which is 95% effective, is one of two vaccines which the FDA has authorized so far. The second is Moderna’s shot.

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