Vehicle Acquisition and Fuel Use Requirements for Federal Fleets

Under the Energy Policy Act (EPAct) of 1992, 75% of new light-duty vehicles acquired by covered federal fleets must be alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs). As amended in January 2008, Section 301 of EPAct 1992 expands the definition of AFVs to include hybrid electric vehicles, fuel cell vehicles, and advanced lean burn vehicles. Fleets that use fuel blends containing at least 20% biodiesel (B20) may earn credits toward their annual requirements. Federal fleets are also required to use alternative fuels in dual-fuel vehicles unless the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) approves waivers for agency vehicles; grounds for a waiver include lack of alternative fuel availability and unreasonable cost (per EPAct 2005, section 701).

Additional requirements for federal fleets were included in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, such as fleet management plans and petroleum reduction from 2005 levels (Section 142), low greenhouse gas (GHG) emitting vehicle acquisition requirements (Section 141), and renewable fuel infrastructure installation requirements (Section 246). For more information, see the Federal Fleet Management website.

To track progress toward meeting AFV acquisition and fuel use requirements, federal fleets must report on their percent alternative fuel increase compared to the fiscal year 2005 baseline, alternative fuel use as a percentage of total fuel consumption, AFV acquisitions as a percentage of vehicle acquisitions, and fleet-wide miles per gasoline gallon equivalent of petroleum fuels.

Executive Order 13834, issued in May 2018, requires the Secretary of Energy (Secretary), in coordination with the Secretary of Defense, the Administrator of General Services, and the heads of other agencies as appropriate, to review the existing federal vehicle fleet requirements. In April 2019, the Secretary provided a report to the Chairman of the Council on Environmental Quality and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget detailing opportunities to optimize federal fleet performance, reduce associated costs, and streamline reporting and compliance requirements. Specifically, the report recommends that federal agencies identify and implement strategies to:

  • Right-size the fleet
  • Reduce vehicle miles traveled
  • Implement more fuel efficient vehicles
  • Align the implementation of AFVs and associated fueling infrastructure
Executive Order 14008, issued in January 2021, requires the Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality, the Administrator of General Services, and the Director of the Office and Management and Budget, in coordination with the Secretary of Commerce, the Secretary of Labor, the Secretary, and the heads of other relevant agencies, to assist the National Climate Advisor in developing a comprehensive plan to facilitate clean and zero-emission vehicles for federal, state, local, and tribal government fleets, including vehicles of the U.S. Postal Service. The plan must be submitted to the National Climate Task Force by April 27, 2021.

(Reference 42 U.S. Code 13212 and Executive Order 13834 and Executive Order 14008)

Point of Contact
Federal Energy Management Program
U.S. Department of Energy

Jurisdiction: Federal

Type: Laws and Regulations

Agency: U.S. Department of Energy

Enacted: Oct 24, 1992

Amended: Jan 27, 2021

Technologies: Biodiesel, Ethanol, EVs, Fuel Economy / Efficiency, HEVs, Hydrogen Fuel Cells, Natural Gas, PHEVs, Propane (LPG)

See all Federal Laws and Incentives.