President Barack Obama announced that the US General Services Administration (GSA) will spend $285 million provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to buy about 17,600 new, fuel-efficient vehicles produced by US auto companies by 1 June. All purchases will be made from manufacturers with an existing contract with the GSA, which are General Motors, Ford and Chrysler.
This includes the purchase of 2,500 hybrid sedans that will be ordered by 15 April. This is the largest one-time purchase of hybrid vehicles for the federal government fleet yet.
Each vehicle purchased under the GSA’s accelerated strategy must have a higher miles-per-gallon rating than the vehicle it replaces with the overall goal of at least a 10 percent increase in fuel-efficiency for the entire procurement.
By swapping out less efficient federal vehicles for new hybrid and fuel-efficient ones, this strategy will reduce gasoline consumption by 1.3 million gallons per year and prevent 26 million pounds of CO2 from entering the atmosphere, according to the Obama Administration.
GSA will also dedicate $15 million to pilot advanced technology vehicles in the GSA Fleet. Pilot programs will focus on commercially available compressed natural gas and hybrid buses, and all-electric vehicles. These orders will be placed by 30 September 2009.
The accelerated GSA purchasing strategy is one component of the President’s overall commitment to supporting auto demand during this period of restructuring in the industry. Moving forward, the Administration says it will continue to work on several fronts to increase the flow of credit to auto consumers and dealers, and will work with Congress to pass an incentive program for people who turn in older, more fuel inefficient cars for cleaner cars.