GSA adds electric cars to federal fleet; many more to come

The federal government's automotive fleet is going green and high tech.

The Los Angeles Times reports that the government has just bought 116 electric cars to be distributed to 20 agencies around the country. The cars include Chevrolet Volts, Nissan Leafs and Think Cities. (Think is a maker of electric cars based in Norway.)

The purchase is the next big step in the government's adoption of advanced vehicle technologies, said Martha Johnson, administrator of the General Services Administration, as quoted in the Times.

"It furthers the administration's goal of putting 1 million advanced vehicles on the road by 2015, and it represents a significant targeted investment in the next generation of automotive technology," she said.

Meanwhile, the Obama administration released a memo to agencies saying that all new cars in the federal government fleet must be alternative-fuel vehicles, including those with hybrid engines and those powered by electricity or natural gas. The order, released May 24, also encourages development of a fueling infrastructure for such vehicles.

"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," the order states. "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."

About the Author

Technology journalist Michael Hardy is a former FCW editor.

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