How Disposition Services fits into the electric vehicle procurement puzzle

  • Published
  • By Kelly Burell
  • DLA Disposition Services Public Affairs

In an effort to combat the evolving climate crisis, U.S. President Joseph Biden signed Executive Order 14057: “Catalyzing Clean Energy Industries and Jobs Through Federal Sustainability” Dec. 8, 2021.

According to section 102 of EO 14057, the government-wide goal is to lead the nation on a firm path to net-zero emissions by 2050. In doing so, the federal procurement and operational policies will change to align with the new goal of securing a transition to clean, zero-emission technologies.

The White House released a statement announcing the federal fleet of electric vehicle acquisitions have more than doubled and in fiscal year 2023, agencies have acquired five times as many EVs as all last fiscal year.

A focal point for Defense Logistics Agency is the disposal process for federally procured EVs. When EVs reach end of life, what will the disposal process entail for the 1,000-pound EV battery?

To better understand what that process would look like, DLA Disposition Services employees traveled to Detroit, Michigan, to attend a global EV battery conference that focused on reuse and recycle opportunities and discussed the possibility of a circular EV battery economy.

Knowing industry standards is the first step in preparing the agency for future EV battery disposal.  

Discussion topics included EV battery transportation, reuse and recycling options, black mass and battery resources, various types of EV battery resource recovery, and more.

While not all speaking themes covered areas that are related to DLA Disposition Services’ disposal process, it was an opportunity for employees to learn about the advancements that are being made in the EV battery world.

“I was pleasantly surprised because it seems like there are a lot of [EV battery] recyclers,” DLA Disposition Services Public Sales Division Chief Carlos Torres said. “For DLA Disposition Services, posturing ourselves for when the time comes to dispose of electric vehicles, it seems like there is a disposal outlet in the form of potentially a public sale to an electric vehicle recycler. It seems like we would have a disposal outlet.”

Additionally, select DLA Disposition Services employees participate in the Federal Consortium for Advanced Batteries, a group that was created to discuss advanced battery efforts and develop a healthy EV battery ecosystem.  

The Executive Order affects about 380,000 federal vehicles that need to be replaced in the near future.