President Biden in 2021 drove a Ford F-150 Lightning and expressed his desire to electrify the White House’s fleet of vehicles, including the armored presidential limo known as “the Beast.”
At the time, Bryan Hood doubted the wisdom, given its weight of 15,000 to 20,000 pounds, its armor and high-tech security features, and its oversized truck frame. At twice the weight of the GMC Hummer EV, the Beast would require a massive battery array to provide any real protection – and would be defenseless in the event of a battery failure.
In his first week in office, President Biden announced his goal of electrifying the entire 600,000-vehicle federal fleet of civilian vehicles, to be “made right here in America.” He pledged, “I’m going to start the process where every vehicle in the U.S. military is going to be climate friendly.”
Biden’s goal, reiterated last April by Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, is to electrify all U.S. military vehicles, including tanks and aircraft, by 2030, a daunting, budget-busting task. The Army’s 242,000 tactical vehicles should for now be hybrids, but its 170,000 non-tactical cars and trucks “could go right to electric,” according to Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks.
Biden even envisions electric tanks, which Kyle Mizokami, writing in Popular Mechanics, says makes a lot of sense. In his view, EV tanks reduce the vulnerability of fuel-laden convoys; are more easily upgraded than tanks with internal combustion engines and transmissions; and are cheaper to run and “easier on the planet.”