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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Helping Federal Land Management Agencies Transition to Electric Vehicle Fleets

Thursday, May 16, 2024

New electric vehicle (EV) sales nearly doubled in the United States in 2021 compared to sales in any previous year; sales then grew by another two-thirds in 2022 and another 50% in 2023. EV sales will likely reach 30 percent of all new U.S. car sales in 2030 from a roughly 3.5 percent share of new car sales in 2021. In 2023, EV sales accounted for 9.3% of all passenger vehicle sales—all according to Argonne National Library stats.  

EV Bus
New 40-foot electric shuttle ​bus at Zion National Park in ​Utah. (NPS)

U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service (NPS), U.S. Forest Service (USFS), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), Bureau of Reclamation, Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) are working to attain the goals set forth in the Biden-Harris Administration’s Executive Order 14057, which calls for government agencies to transition to 100 percent zero-emission EVs by 2035, and 100 percent zero-emission light-duty EVs by 2027. This work will enable the nation’s federal lands management agencies to transition their vehicle fleets to EVs while providing needed electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) to the visiting public.  

These agencies asked for the U.S. DOT Volpe Center’s support in this area because of its depth of knowledge of transportation electrification, public lands planning, and geospatial analysis. The U.S. DOT Volpe Center has provided expertise at the juncture of these areas for years, including development of a precursor gap analysis on EVSE access for NPS.  

To support these federal land management agencies, the U.S. DOT Volpe Center team planned, convened, and facilitated meetings with each of the federal land management agencies to understand and address their current issues and needs; conducted high-level mapping, programming, analysis, and research to develop stakeholder meetings; and worked iteratively with agencies to revise and refine deliverables. This work impacts the entire nation as every state contains federal land management agencies that oversee roughly 640 million acres (28 percent of the land in the U.S.).  

The team completed a report on Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment Gap Analysis for Federal Land Management Agencies, as well as a National Park Service Electric Vehicle Transition Plan, both published in February 2023. Ongoing projects include development of a web-based mapping tool to illustrate priority locations for investing in EVSE for the USFS, along with support for USFWS and the Bureau of Reclamation to identify and address EV and EVSE needs. 

The U.S. DOT Volpe Center team will continue to support NPS in implementing the National Park Service Electric Vehicle Transition Plan and has recently released the Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment Gap Analysis for Federal Land Management Agencies web tool, with plans to perform future updates to the analysis.  

The U.S. DOT Volpe Center team will also finalize the USFS web-mapping tool and provide support on related items; help develop and implement the USFWS’s Five-Year Electric Vehicle Plan; and work with the Bureau of Reclamation to help launch a program to transition its fleet to EVs. This work will entail planning; site assessment, design, and installation of EVSE; and an overall program assessment. The Bureau of Reclamation will use the assessment as a foundation for subsequent efforts to electrify its entire fleet at additional sites.