LANSING, Mich. (Michigan News Source) – Coming on the heels of General Motors CEO Mary Barra expressing frustration that Americans are not buying electric vehicles (EV), Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is pushing things along with a new Executive Directive that interferes in the automotive market.

On Tuesday afternoon, Governor Whitmer signed Executive Directive 2023-5 which will transition the State of Michigan’s fleet to zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) over the next 10 to 20 years.

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“Getting this done will reduce air pollution, help boost demand for Michigan-made electric vehicles, and lower costs of fuel and maintenance,” Whitmer said in a statement.

The Executive Directive spells out how Whitmer wants state departments and agencies to roll out the change, with prioritization of which gas vehicles will be transitioned to ZEVs first as well as installing electric vehicle supply equipment.

The Big 3 automakers are coming off a six week strike with UAW members that idled plants and lost the companies billions of dollars. An Executive Directive like this will allow them to make and sell electric vehicles due to government demand since the consumer market has not driven demand.

Given that, it’s not surprising that UAW President Shawn Fain is celebrating the move. “The UAW applauds the State of Michigan for showing that the electric vehicle transition doesn’t have to be a race to the bottom,” Fain said. “We encourage the state to purchase union-made EVs for all state vehicles, giving America’s autoworkers their fair share of this historic moment for the American auto industry.”

Green energy has been a pillar of Whitmer’s second term, following the lead of former Michigan governor and current U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm.