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Obama administration to add 10,000 hybrids for 'green' government fleet

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Rebecca Cook/Reuters/File

(Read caption) A Ford 2013 Ford C-MAX Hybrid vehicle is seen on display outside the Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Mich. At least some of the government's new hybrids will be the Ford C-Max Hybrid model, Voelcker writes.

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President Barack Obama may not achieve his goal of 1 million plug-in electric cars on U.S. roads by the end of 2015.

But his administration continues to try to green the U.S. vehicle fleet.

The latest salvo: The government's General Services Agency plans to add an additional 10,000 hybrid vehicles to its fleet of roughly 200,000 cars and trucks.

Currently, the GSA operates roughly 10,700 hybrids, or slightly over 5 percent of its fleet. It purchased 919 last year.

Participation in the program by the many different U.S. agencies that lease their vehicles from the GSA is voluntary. 

The agencies are being encouraged to choose hybrid vehicles through a GSA program that makes up the cost difference between the price of a hybrid and the price of a comparable non-hybrid vehicle.

The first agency to take part will be the Interior Department, which plans to replace 300 older vehicles of various kinds with new hybrids.

"At a time when government needs to make every tax dollar count, GSA is committed to creating more energy efficiency and cost-saving opportunities like the fleet consolidation program," said Dan Tangherlini, the GSA's acting administrator.

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Such programs, he continued, "make government smarter and reduce our environmental footprint."

Each hybrid saves approximately 100 gallons of fuel a year, on average. If the GSA reaches its goal of adding 10,000 more hybrids, that will bring the total annual savings to 1 million gallons.

U.S. agencies are generally required to purchase vehicles assembled in the U.S.

You can expect at least some of those new hybrids to be the Ford C-Max Hybrid model--assembled in Wayne, Michigan.

In the future, Fusion Hybrid sedans will likely join the fleet as well, once a second assembly plant in Flat Rock, Michigan, adds Fusion production. Currently, all Fusions are built at a Ford plant in Mexico.

The new GSA program was reported yesterday in The Detroit News and elsewhere.


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