President Obama announced recently that he is directing managers of federal to purchase 100-percent alternative fuel, hybrid or electric vehicles by 2015. In his remarks on American energy security, the president noted that his administration has “already doubled the number of in the federal fleet.”
The federal government operates fleets with more than 600,000 vehicles and buys 60,000 to 70,000 cars annually through GSA.
The president’s goal is “eminently doable by 2015,” according to Edmunds.com’s senior editor and Green Car Advisor John O’Dell. Of course, O’Dell told Govpro.com, government policies on fleets are subject to change. “It could change with a new administration. Very definitely — or through legislation in Congress that reduces or eliminates funding for alternative fuel fleet purchases. But, even the Republicans are on board with the need to get off petroleum for transportation. So, I see an increasing push to put their money where their mouth is: ‘Do as I do as well as I say.’ If government is preaching the virtues of weaning the U.S. from petroleum, then government has got to be one of the first places that that starts.”
A bounty of alternative-fuel vehicles is poised to hit the market, O’Dell says. “In addition to electric models, we’ve got a lot of compressed natural gas (CNG)-fueled vehicles coming online. There are a lot of companies out there converting conventional power plants into CNG-powered trucks and other vehicles whose duty cycles would argue against the battery-powered electric.”
Other levels of government are not sitting on their hands, O’Dell says. “I have a feeling state and local agencies are probably leading the feds,” he says. “Most state-local fleets already have green component goals. State and local agencies get credits for greening up their fleets based on state and local regulations. So, there’s a lot of pushing.”
Besides Iowa Biodiesel Board. “Having an alternatively fueled fleet doesn’t necessarily mean you have to invest in entirely new, expensive vehicles to achieve this goal. Biodiesel can help fleets achieve this goal, because it works with existing diesel engines, with no need for modification,” Olson told Govpro.com.new vehicles, government fleet managers can use biodiesel to meet green goals, says Randy Olson, executive director of the Ankeny, Iowa-based
“Biodiesel is a domestic, renewable fuel for diesel engines derived from natural fats and oils like soybean oil, and which meets the specifications of ASTM D 6751. While there are a few fleets that use 100-percent biodiesel (B100), the more common blend is 20 percent (B20). Nationally, we expect to sell 800 million gallons of biodiesel this year.”