The U.S. government announced this week that it would add 10,000 hybrid vehicles to the federal fleet in an effort to cut fuel usage and reduce carbon emissions. According to estimates by the General Services Administration (GSA), the move will save about 1 million gallons of gasoline each year. The agency’s acting administrator, Dan Tangherlini, said, “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 that make government smarter and reduce our environmental footprint.”
Government purchasing agents at GSA have plenty of hybrid vehicles to choose from in reaching their goal of adding 10,000 hybrids to the federal fleet. The short video clip above offers a quick look at one of Volkswagen’s offerings for 2013. The Jetta Hybrid is the product of a German automaker who has built a powerful reputation in the field of diesel engineering. The reviewer’s impression of the car? He finds the Jetta Hybrid agile, peppy and fun to drive, even though is can’t match mpg numbers of its direct competitor, the Toyota Prius.
In 2011, the president instructed federal agencies to rid their fleets of SUVs and other large cars in order to save money and improve air quality. The U.S. Interior Department will be among the early adopters of the new push. It plans to buy about 300 hybrid vehicles to improve fuel usage in its own fleet. GSA is helping fund the program by financing the additional costs for any federal agency that swaps out its older cars for hybrid sedans. GSA is in charge of administering the new program and hopes to create a government fleet in which about 10 percent of the cars are hybrids.