President Obama issues Memorandum on Federal fleet performance to push for alternative fueled vehicles; GSA pilot project on EV purchases
President Obama has issued a Presidential Memorandum directing Federal agencies to implement government-wide fleet management practices that will move the government to purchasing 100% alternative fuel vehicles by 2015 and drive agencies to meet the required 30% decrease in petroleum consumption by 2020 under Executive Order 13514 signed by the President in October 2009.
In conjunction with the Memorandum, the General Services Administration (GSA) launched a pilot project to incorporate electric vehicles and technologies into the Federal fleet. GSA announced its initial purchase of more than 100 electric vehicles for a vehicle pilot. These vehicles will be leased to 20 agencies, including the Department of Energy, and will be located in Washington, DC; Detroit, MI; Los Angeles, CA; San Diego, CA; and San Francisco, CA.
As manager of Federal fleets and buildings, GSA will also coordinate with these agencies to establish necessary infrastructure for fueling and recharging at Federal building locations receiving the first round of vehicles.
In the Memorandum, the President specifically directs that by 31 December 2015, all new light-duty vehicles leased or purchased by agencies must be alternative fueled vehicles, such as hybrid or electric, compressed natural gas, or biofuel. Moreover, agency alternative fueled vehicles must, as soon as practicable, be located in proximity to fueling stations with available alternative fuels, and be operated on the alternative fuel for which the vehicle is designed.
Where practicable, agencies should encourage development of commercial infrastructure for alternative fuel or provide flex fuel and alternative fuel pumps and charging stations at Federal fueling sites.
In addition, the Memorandum directs executive fleets to achieve maximum fuel efficiency; be limited in motor vehicle body size, engine size, and optional equipment to what is essential to meet agency mission; and be midsize or smaller sedans, except where larger sedans are essential to the agency mission. Within 180 days of the date of this memorandum, any executive fleet vehicles that are larger than a midsize sedan or do not comply with alternative fueled vehicle requirements must be disclosed on agency websites.
Finally, with respect to vehicle technologies, the Memorandum directs the Department of Energy to assist the United States Postal Service (USPS) in evaluating the best alternative fuel technologies for the USPS fleet.
Optimum fleet size. The Memorandum also directs the General Services Administration (GSA) within 90 days to develop and distribute to agencies a Vehicle Allocation Methodology (VAM) for determining the optimum inventory with emphasis placed on eliminating unnecessary or non-essential vehicles from an agency’s fleet inventory and ensuring lifecycle cost-effectiveness of maintaining such inventory.
In addition, the VAM shall address composition for agencies’ light-duty fleets based on their missions. In doing so, the GSA shall consider existing Federal VAMs as appropriate. The VAM shall assist agencies in selecting vehicle options based on lifecycle cost analysis, including projected fuel costs, warranty, operations, mileage, maintenance, and disposal.
Within 180 days of the GSA’s dissemination of the VAM, Federal agencies are to determine their optimal fleet inventory using the VAM, and will post their optimal fleet inventory targets on agency websites. At the same time, agencies are directed to submit to the Administrator of General Services fleet management plans to achieve these targets no later than 31 December 2015.
GSA purchase. GSA conducted an open competition process to request bids from all vendors who could offer electric vehicles that meet Federal Vehicle Standards and comply with applicable statutory and regulatory requirements. Offers were evaluated utilizing four factors: technical capability; management capability; past performance; and price. Contracts were awarded for Chevrolet, Nissan, and Think City vehicles. These vehicles will be eligible for the initial purchase. As the pilot progresses, other companies may bid to become eligible for future purchases.
Last year, GSA doubled the Federal hybrid fleet without increasing the total number of vehicles. The resulting improvement in fleet fuel efficiency will reduce petroleum consumption by the equivalent of an estimated 7.7 million gallons of gasoline, or 385,000 barrels of oil.