October 13, 2009

GSA meets mandate to green fleet

With the purchase of five compressed natural gas buses and 35 hybrid buses, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) successfully completed one of the Administration's key initiatives to green the federal fleet through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

GSA had until September 30, 2009, to invest $300 million in new, more fuel-efficient vehicles for the federal fleet. Ahead of the deadline, GSA ordered 17,246 vehicles, including cars and buses from a total of six manufacturers.

With the exception of the most recent purchase, GSA expects the majority of these vehicles to be delivered to the government by the end of October 2009. Allowing for production times, the buses are expected to be delivered in the third quarter of FY2010.

GSA will use the new vehicles to replace older, less-efficient models in the federal fleet. By increasing fuel efficiency, the ARRA vehicles will save an estimated 16.7 million gallons of fuel over the next seven years, prevent 334 million pounds of greenhouse gas from entering the atmosphere, and save taxpayers at least $40 million in fuel costs, according to GSA. As the older vehicles being replaced are sold, the money from the sales will be used to make additional investments toward greening the federal fleet.

The first phase of the purchase occurred on April 1, 2009, when GSA ordered 3,100 fuel-efficient hybrid vehicles for $77 million. On June 1, 2009, the agency invested $210 million in an additional 14,105 commercially available vehicles, including alternative fuel and hybrid vehicles.

In the final phase, GSA invested the remaining $12.4 million in 40 advanced-technology buses and one hybrid-electric car. Five of the buses are powered with compressed natural gas, while another 35 are hybrid-electric buses. The compressed natural gas buses are produced by New Flyer Inc., while the Krystal hybrid-electric buses will come from Capitol Coach Works Inc. and Navistar International.

 

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