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Pennsylvania Launches Hybrid and Alt-Fuel Program for Fleet

Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell has launched a pilot project to explore the use of alternative-fuel and hybrid vehicles among the state fleet.

The program sets increasing purchase targets for the next five years, culminating in model year 2011 when 25% of all new passenger vehicles purchased for the Commonwealth fleet are to be hybrid or alternative-fuel vehicles—as long as the total cost of ownership for the vehicles doesn’t exceed the average total cost of ownership for the rest of the Department of General Service’s conventional fleet.

Conservation is the most effective measure to counter rising energy costs. Embracing alternative-fuel and hybrid vehicles that are more efficient can make Pennsylvania a market leader for a whole new generation of environmentally friendly vehicles that help to clean the air and save money at a time when fuel costs continue to rise and remain high.

We have to be responsible and accountable stewards of taxpayer resources. We cannot leave the issue just to the federal government. Like Pennsylvania, each state has to do its part to encourage alternate energy development and to help the U.S. reduce its dependence on foreign oil.

—Governor Rendell

Under the pilot program, the state fleet will add:

  • 30 hybrid or alternative fuel vehicles by 2006.

  • 50 vehicles for the 2008 model year.

  • 75 vehicles by the 2010 model year.

  • 25% of the new car fleet purchases by the 2011 model year.

Alternative fuels considered included compressed natural gas, liquefied natural gas, liquid propane gas, ethanol, methanol, hydrogen, coal-derived liquid fuels and biofuels.


Emmanuel M

I would like to see data on the Total Cost of Ownership for hybrids and alternatives, compared with comparable regular gas cars.

I have recently searched the web for this info without success. The DOE answered my request for help by telling me they do not have this data either. Where will Rendell find this?

PS: I did this search because I suspect that the TCO is lower for small, cheap cars (Echo, Aveo, etc) than for costly hybrids. I base my belief on calculations using data from the DOE and Edmunds.com. I find that an average user will need 32 years to recover the extra cost of purchase of a Prius instead of an Echo sedan. Since most people keep their car 5 to 7 years, it makes no sense. Also, resell value of hybrids is a big unknown. Of course, as gas prices fluctuate and tax incentives are introduced, the equation changes daily. What do you guys think?

Echo 4dr 5M: $10,985 MSRP, $1,006 per year in gas
Prius : $20,975 MSRP, $696 per year in gas
(yearly gas cost assumes $2.55 per gallon)


I believe that our federal, state, and local governments should use their purchasing power on the most enviromentally friendly energy options even if for now it costs more. Free market competition would drive new technologies to the market quicker and drive down costs sooner if garruanteed customers were there. A far better way to use the $200 billion now spent on the Iraq war.

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