State of Michigan police cars parked on Belle Isle

Michigan businesses, advocates applaud Gov. Whitmer’s order to transition state fleet to clean electric vehicles

Published on December 14, 2023

EVs build on clean energy laws that make Michigan a national leader, magnet for jobs and investments 

LANSING, Michigan – Michigan businesses and clean energy advocates applauded Gov. Gretchen Whitmer for signing an executive order today that transitions the State of Michigan’s fleet of vehicles to all electric vehicles. 

Whitmer’s executive order electrifies Michigan’s light vehicles such as cars by 2033 and medium- and heavy-duty vehicles by 2040. Earlier this year, Whitmer signed the 2024 state budget that sets aside $1 million to begin the process of electrifying Michigan’s vehicle fleet. 

“This is a significant step forward in Michigan’s commitment to clean mobility,” said Jane McCurry, Executive Director of Clean Fuels Michigan. “Thanks to Gov. Whitmer’s leadership, Michigan is yet again in the fast lane, driving growth in the advanced auto industry and ensuring Michigan communities reap the air quality benefits of cleaner vehicle technologies.”

“Gov. Whitmer’s commitment today sends a clear message, for the first time, that the state will lead by example in the clean transportation paradigm shift,” said Maggie Striz Calnin, Director of the Michigan Clean Cities coalition, a member organization of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Clean Cities Network with works to increase availability and use of low- and zero emission transportation options. “State fleet officials have a history of using, when possible, clean fuels and vehicles with good fuel economy – but haven’t before been given such a clear mandate to make pollution prevention an outcome of the procurement process. We stand at the ready to help the state fleet succeed in planning for and adopting electric vehicles for every use case this technology can meet.”

Michigan is No. 2, behind California, for hybrid and electric vehicle jobs, growing at twice the overall state job growth rate. More than 32,000 Michigan workers build electric and hybrid vehicles and EV batteries. In 2022, the sector added 4,000 jobs, a 14% growth led by electric vehicle-related jobs. Michigan is expanding EV fueling infrastructure with plans to generate 100,000 chargers by 2030, through provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act and Whitmer’s clean energy policies.

“Today’s Executive Directive for electrifying the state’s vehicle fleet is a big step forward in meeting the Governor’s climate goals as well demonstrating leadership on the future of Mobility,” said Charles Griffith, Climate and Energy Program Director at the Ecology Center. “We hope the state’s commitment to transition to electric vehicles will also encourage other public and private fleet operators to make the decision to go electric, saving money on fuel costs and cleaning the air at the same time.” 

“We applaud Gov. Whitmer and Michigan’s leaders for taking action to increase the state government’s use of EVs, starting with vehicles that use the most gasoline,” said Rob Sargent, Policy Director at Coltura. “Switching the vehicles that use the most gasoline to EVs first will save the taxpayers the most money by slashing the amount the government spends on fuel, and it will maximize public health and climate benefits by cutting climate pollution faster.”

“Today’s announcement is one of the strongest commitments in the country in electrifying a state’s fleet, and it will be powered by a clean Michigan electricity grid,” said Evergreen Action Midwest Senior Policy and Advocacy Manager Courtney Bourgoin. “The governor’s directive takes a smart step to target pollution reductions where they’re needed most by prioritizing transitioning vehicles located in communities that have been historically overburdened with higher pollution. From committing to 100% clean electricity to transitioning 100% of its government fleet to clean vehicles, Michigan has taken huge steps this year to combat climate change, improve public health, and lead the way in building a clean energy economy.” 

Last week, Whitmer signed historic clean energy laws, including a commitment to ensuring Michigan’s energy is produced entirely from clean sources by 2040, improving energy efficiency and reducing energy waste, and supporting workers in the transition to a clean energy economy. The clean energy measures are expected to reduce household utility costs by an average of $145 a year, create 160,000 good-paying jobs, and attract $8 billion of federal tax dollars home to Michigan for clean energy projects.