Leading U.S. Companies Join the Federal Government in Drive to Make Business Travel Cleaner, Save Taxpayer Dollars, Tackle the Climate Crisis, and Boost American Manufacturing
As part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s efforts to build a clean transportation future, today the Administration is announcing new public and private commitments to boost access to electric vehicles (EVs), save taxpayer dollars, and tackle the climate crisis. This includes leading by example on climate with the release of new Federal employee travel guidelines that direct the use of sustainable transportation for official and local travel, both domestically and internationally.
These new commitments will save taxpayers money by increasing the use of EVs and taking other cost-effective actions on clean transportation associated with business travel for the Federal workforce. In addition, the State of California, companies, and nonprofits are announcing new commitments through the Biden-Harris Administration’s EV Acceleration Challenge to expand EV fleets, increase consumer education, and grow the availability of EV charging and other clean transportation infrastructure.
These commitments further advance President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, a key pillar of Bidenomics, to spur domestic manufacturing, strengthen supply chains, boost U.S. competitiveness, and create good-paying jobs and healthier communities. Under President Biden’s leadership, EV sales have tripled and the number of publicly available charging ports has grown by nearly 70 percent since he took office. Private companies have announced more than $150 billion in investments in the EV and battery supply chain in the same time period. There are now more than 166,000 public EV chargers across the country, and the U.S. has already set a new record by selling more than 1 million EVs so far this year.
Federal Commitments to Catalyze a Clean Transportation Future
As the Nation’s largest employer and with an annual business travel purchasing power of $2.8 billion, the Federal Government is leading by example by shifting to cleaner transportation options, including American-made electric vehicles and charging infrastructure. In 2022 alone, Federal employees took more than 2.8 million flights, 2.3 million vehicle rentals, and 33,000 rail trips. These operational changes will accelerate the clean transportation transformation, increase good-paying union jobs and create healthier communities.
President Biden’s Federal Sustainability Plan aims to reach net-zero emissions from overall Federal operations by 2050, including a 65 percent emissions reduction by 2030. Through new Federal employee travel guidelines issued today, the Biden-Harris Administration is advancing this goal by directing Federal agencies to prioritize the use of sustainable transportation for official and local travel, both domestically and internationally, including by:
- Prioritizing electric vehicle use when traveling: Federal employees will rent an EV on official travel when the cost of the EV is less than or equal to the most affordable comparable vehicle available. Employees will also opt for cost-competitive EV options, where available, when using taxis and ride share platforms. This will save taxpayer money and reduce pollution that jeopardizes people’s health and fuels the climate crisis.
- Expanding rail travel: Federal employees will use rail for trips less than 250 miles when cost-effective and available, instead of taking an airplane or vehicle.
- Increasing public transit use: Federal employees will use public transit (e.g., subway, bus, light rail) when conducting local travel or upon arrival at the official travel location.
To support swift and successful whole-of-government implementation, Federal agencies are being directed through an Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Memorandum and U.S. General Services Administration Travel Bulletin to take a comprehensive series of steps to ensure sustainable travel options are easily accessible to employees when booking travel arrangements. Agencies will have 120 days from today’s announcement to report to OMB and the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) on the plans and actions they have taken to carry out the policy and goals of the OMB Memorandum.
The State of California will join the Federal government by issuing guidance by June 2024 to state employees, encouraging the use of Zero Emission Vehicle commercial rentals on official travel where available and operationally feasible.
Private Sector Commitments to Catalyze a Clean Transportation Future
In order to grow sustainable travel options nationwide, the Federal government, the travel industry, major corporations, and state, local, and Tribal governments must collaborate.
As part of President Biden’s goal of having at least 50% of all new vehicle sales be electric by 2030, the Biden-Harris Administration has issued an ongoing call to action through the EV Acceleration Challenge to all stakeholders in the private and public sectors, including advocacy and community groups, to dedicate resources and make independent commitments to boost EVs in America.
In conjunction with today’s announcements from the Biden-Harris Administration, leading U.S. organizations across sectors are announcing new commitments to build America’s clean transportation future as the latest additions to President Biden’s EV Acceleration Challenge:
Travel & Hospitality Sector
American Express Global Business Travel is today launching a new software solution that helps companies increase the adoption of EVs by prioritizing EVs over gasoline cars when travelers are booking trips and refining searches so hotels with EV charging points can be easily found.
Amtrak commits to transitioning its fleet of highway vehicles to zero emissions by 2035, which will eliminate over 3 million gallons of fuel a year.
Delta Air Lines commits to build on its achievement of over 30% Ground Service Equipment (GSE) electrification systemwide, with its BOS, LGA, and SLC hubs all over 75% electric in the core GSE fleets, by electrifying up to 50% of its GSE in 2025, including baggage tractors, belt loaders, aircraft tow tractors and other critical fleets necessary to turn an aircraft.
The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) and GBTA Foundation are committing to releasing new global and industry-wide sustainable procurement criteria for accommodation, as well as air travel, ground transport and rail by the end of 2024 to send a strong, consistent and meaningful market signal for sustainable business travel.
IHG Hotels & Resorts, a global hotel company, is committing to developing a new supplier partnership and providing an EV charging best practices Guidebook by the end of 2023 to help accelerate EV charging installation across its portfolio of nearly 4,000 U.S hotels.
Marriott International is committing to more than double the number of hotels and available chargers for guests by the end of 2027, building on the over 4,100 EV chargers in over 1,100 properties across the U.S. so far.
Rental Car and Rideshare Companies
Enterprise Mobility, a provider of mobility solutions, is making EVs available to reserve at select locations throughout the US, including at more than 50 neighborhood rental locations and all major airports throughout the state of California, and is committed to growing that availability in 2024 as well as working to evaluate power and charging needs at strategic locations that will be key to its operations.
Hertz is committing to substantially increase its EV rentals to corporate travelers in North America in 2024, forecasting an eightfold increase in those rentals compared to 2022, which is expected to result in nearly 80 million electric miles driven and the avoidance of an estimated 17,800 metric tons of carbon emissions compared to gas-powered vehicles.
Lyft is committing to expand access to ‘Green Mode’ – through which riders can directly request a green vehicle on the Lyft app – for at least 20 of the largest airports in the U.S. by January 2024, and to pass along airport EV discounts directly to riders, through reduced fares, later in the year.
Uber is committing to expand its “Green Curb at Airports” initiative to 10 airports across the country by 2025, partnering with airports to provide riders with perks to go green and drivers with increased access to convenient, discounted or free EV charging and building on sustainable options, including Uber Green and Uber Comfort Electric, currently available to riders at 70+ U.S. airports.
Zipcar launched EVs in select cities in 2023 and is committing to increase its EV fleet in the U.S. up to double its current size in 2024.
bp’s EV charging arm, bp pulse, is committing to deploy more than 3,000 fast and reliable charging points by 2025 at high-demand locations in the US, such as airports, major metropolitan areas, and bp branded properties along Alternative Fueling Corridors.
Deloitte US is committing to reduce its business travel emissions including hotel stays, air, rail, ridesharing, and rental car travel by 50% per full time equivalent by 2030 compared to 2019.
EVgo is committed to having at least 1,800 EV fast charging stalls in operation or under construction in areas serving environmental justice communities as part of EVgo’s “Electric for All” initiative by the end of 2024.
Siemens is enhancing its green mobility options and hotel program procurement process to prioritize hotels with EV charging facilities and car rental companies with EV options, which support the company’s commitment to expand its suite of sustainable travel options for employees and its goal of net zero operations by 2030.
Environmental Defense Fund is committing today to update its travel policy to prioritize electric vehicles and further encourage train use effective immediately.
The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is committing today to prioritize modes of travel with the lowest carbon footprint, requiring the use of EV car rentals, mass transit, and trains during business trips, whenever possible.
Sierra Club, a grassroots environmental organization is committing to update its policy to encourage sustainable business travel by prioritizing utilization of regional rail service and rental of EVs for ground transportation in 2024.
The EV Acceleration Challenge is accepting submissions on a rolling basis. The White House will be highlighting additional commitments in the future. Organizations can submit a commitment to the EV Acceleration Challenge here.