Obama administration moves toward alternative fueled federal fleet

President Barack Obama issued a presidential memorandum directing agencies to implement government wide fleet management practices

Washington, D.C., May 25, 2011 — Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, General Services Administrator Martha Johnson, and White House Council on Environmental Quality Chair Nancy Sutley announced a step in moving the federal fleet further towards advanced vehicles and decreased petroleum consumption, while also cutting costs associated with fuel consumption.

Furthering the administration's goals to cut oil imports by one-third by 2025 and to put one million advanced vehicles on the road by 2015, President Barack Obama issued a presidential memorandum directing agencies to implement government wide fleet management practices that will ensure the federal government is leading by example in fuel efficiency and innovative technology.

Implementation of these new requirements will move the government to purchasing 100 percent alternative fuel vehicles by 2015 and drive agencies to meet the required 30 percent decrease in petroleum consumption by 2020 under Executive Order 13514 on Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance signed by Obama in October 2009.

In conjunction with the memorandum, the General Services Administration 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, D.C.; Detroit; Los Angeles; San Diego and San Francisco. 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 agencies to:

* Develop practices that would move the federal government to 100 percent purchase of alternative fuel passenger vehicles and light-duty trucks by 2015;

* Develop and implement a methodology for agencies to determine their agency's optimal fleet size and provide agencies with recommendations for alternative fuel vehicle acquisition and fleet optimization; and

* Establish a goal for the size and composition of the federal fleet and a plan to achieve this target by 2015.

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.

The DOE is helping to lead the way on this initiative by expanding its use of hybrids while reducing its fleet overall. In addition to efforts to reduce the use of petroleum in its own vehicles, the DOE is also working closely with the private sector to transition commercial fleets to alternative, fuel-efficient technologies.

As part of the National Clean Fleets Partnership Obama launched in April, DOE is helping companies to reduce diesel and gasoline use in their fleets by incorporating electric vehicles, alternative fuels, and fuel-saving measures into their daily operations.

EO 13514 requires agencies to measure, manage, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions toward agency-defined goals and requires agencies to meet a number of energy, water, and waste reduction targets, including: 30 percent reduction in vehicle fleet petroleum use by 2020; 26 percent improvement in water efficiency by 2020; and 50 percent recycling and waste diversion by 2015.

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