Government Vehicles: Green by 2015
All fleet-vehicle purchases by the federal government must be hybrids, electric vehicles and other alternative-fuel vehicles by 2015.
President Barack Obama said Wednesday that starting in 2015, all new cars and trucks bought by the federal government will be hybrids, electric vehicles and other alternative-fuel vehicles.
The government operates more than 600,000 fleet vehicles.
Obama, in a far-ranging speech about U.S. energy policy at Georgetown University, said the administration also plans to form partnerships with private companies "that want to upgrade their large fleets" with alternative-fuel vehicles.
The two new initiatives to expand the market for fuel-efficient vehicles are part of a broader administration push announced Wednesday to cut America’s 11 million barrels-a-day oil imports by a third by 2025.
“We cannot keep going from shock to trance on the issue of energy security, rushing to propose action when gas prices rise, then hitting the snooze button when they fall again,” Obama said.
Obama’s speech, titled “A Secure Energy Future,” seeks to seize the initiative from Republicans who have been pushing for more domestic oil drilling and for cuts in federal energy-conservation and alternative energy-source programs.
Boost for Alternative-Vehicle Sales
The president said he is directing that all federal agencies plan to make 100 percent of their fleet purchases hybrids, electric vehicles and other alternative-fuel vehicles by 2015.
That would increase tenfold the rate of alternative-fuel vehicle purchases by the government in fiscal 2009 and 2010.
During that period, the U.S. General Services Administration, which oversees the government fleet, bought 145,473 vehicles — about 10 percent of which were hybrids, Bloomberg News reported in November.
Hybrids accounted for less than 1 percent of government purchases in fiscal 2008, the news service reported.
The largest automaker group said Obama’s plan shows “the government can put high volumes of fuel-efficient vehicles onto our roads.”
Gloria Bergquist, a spokeswoman for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, said consumer purchases have not kept pace with auto production of alternative-fuel vehicles under U.S. fuel-efficiency requirements.
“The policy question today is how to encourage more consumers to buy these high mpg vehicles,” Bergquist said. “Government fleet sales help answer that question. Other policy approaches surely exist to help sell these vehicles too.”
An environmental group, the National Resources Defense Council, praised the planned fleet purchases.
They are a “great way to aggregate demand, get volumes up and drive prices down for new technologies,” said Roland Hwang, transportation program director of the nonprofit group.
Obama didn’t elaborate on his plan to “partner with private companies” on improving the fuel efficiency of their fleets.
On Friday, the president plans to visit a UPS shipping facility in Landover, Md., to view “clean fleets” from AT&T, FedEx, PepsiCo, UPS and Verizon, the White House said.
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The truth is that most people don't look at the big picture when comparing the cost of owning a hybrid vs a traditional gas vehicle.
By owning a hybrid you spend less money in the long run, on internal lubricants/fluids, replacing breaks less often, and less wear and tear on your engine and internal parts.
People need to start looking at the whole dynamics behind a hybrid before they argue the point that hybrids don't "make sense" they make perfect sense when you have all the facts, and understand how a hybrid truly works.
I hope anyone that voted for this moron president feels compelled to go out and over-spend their hard-earned money on an alternative energy vehicle that makes absolutely zero financial sense. Electrics and hybrids cost more than they're worth. There is no financial payback for owning one today. Unless the prices drop or gas goes to $10 a gallon, they're simply a waste of money.
We should be focusing on producing more CNG-powered vehicles. They've been available for a couple of decades to fleet buyers. It's cheap. It's clean. We have a lot of it right here in the U.S. and Canada. Gas and diesel engines can be converted to use it.....and some can even switch back and forth between two fuels depending on availability.
The government already uses CNG-powered vehicles.....like passenger vans, John,.....and they're cheaper and cleaner to run on CNG than their gas/diesel counterparts. The problem is you can't get CNG everywhere so it usually on only beneficial to fleets that can return to their own CNG refueling facility. I'd like to see them come up with a home CNG refueling capability.....like the recharge stations for electric vehicles. That would be even more convenient than gas/diesel.
it is a great idea to replace vehicles with "green" alternatives, but I believe it would have happened natrually as they grow in popularity. Putting a deadline to it makes it seem as if the government is going to spend a ton of money replacing every one of their vehicles. This "partner with other companies" plan that is mentioned is sounding like a cash for clunkers situation and will no doubt drive us into more debt.
PLEASE.......rather than go with electric driven cars which require a dirty fuel source (i.e., coal )......the plan should include tapping into our shale gas (e.g., Marcellus Shale located in PA, WV, NY, OH) which is right next door to a mega population center (from Washington, DC north to Boston). All public vehicles should be converted to compressed natural gas with depots setup in throughout the DC to Boston corridor. Then, the private sector will catch on (UPS, FEDEX, Trucking industry) and finally individuals. And, this whole evolution will create job growth (decent paying jobs).