Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive directive Tuesday instructing state departments and agencies to accelerate their transition to zero-emission vehicles (ZEV).
The directive, which applies only to the executive branch and does not carry the force of law, is part of the Democratic governor’s campaign to electrify Michigan’s transportation networks.
“Getting this done will help drive demand of Michigan-made electric vehicles, lower gas and maintenance costs for the state since ZEVs cost far less to fuel and maintain and reduce air and noise pollution in our communities,” she said via a statement released by her office.
The directive sets a goal — with some exceptions — of having Michigan’s vehicle fleet to be entirely made up of zero-emission vehicles by 2040. The first step is to phase in light-duty ZEVs by 2033.
The state’s vehicle fleet of 8,750 currently has just three Chevy Bolts with four Chevy Silverado EV trucks on order.
The directive also says ZEVs and charging networks should be placed in areas of the state with denser population and heavier pollution. And it encourages higher education and local governments to piggyback on the state’s plans.
The 2040 target for all state-owned vehicles matches a goal set in a bill Whitmer just signed in an effort to make the state less reliant on fossil fuels.
Whitmer’s second term ends in 2026, well before the arrival of the target dates. So it will be up to Whitmer’s successor to decide whether her plans to use state government’s example and economic clout to continue her effort.