The General Services Administration (GSA), which oversees two-thirds of the 600,000-plus vehicles in the U.S. government's fleet, is looking to save millions of dollars per year at the pump by bolstering its use of fuel-efficient vehicles. The 35,000 vehicles ordered by the GSA so far in 2011 consume 21 percent less fuel than the vehicles they replaced, according to the agency. The average miles-per-gallon rating of the U.S. government's fleet of vehicles now stands at 23.4, up from 19.1 in 2010.
The Detroit Three are expected to reap most of the benefits of the government's purchases. GSA administrator, Martha Johnson, says that, "We will be depending on innovative technologies and products coming out of Detroit to help us achieve these goals, and I am confident that American automakers will continue to rise to the challenge." Ford spokeswoman Christin Baker hopes that the Dearborn-based automaker can cash in on the government's fuel-efficient vehicle-buying frenzy, stating "Ford vehicles can be part of the solution for the government as they look to increase fuel economy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions."
This year, approximately 22,000 of the 35,000 vehicles ordered by GSA were advanced technology vehicles (i.e., electric vehicles, hybrids, flex-fuel capable automobiles and plug-in hybrids). Over the past two years, the government has supposedly more than doubled the number of hybrids in its 600,000-plus vehicle fleet.