Stimulus funds could give boost to domestic auto industry
The U.S. General Services Administration has announced plans to buy and deliver energy-efficient and alternative fuel vehicles valued at $300 million using funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
The GSA plans call for balancing energy-efficiency goals with the need to expedite the purchase and maximize economic benefit for the auto industry and the economy as a whole.
“GSA will focus on vehicles that will provide long-term environmental benefits and savings by increasing the energy efficiency of the federal fleet,” said GSA acting Administrator Paul F. Prouty. “We will achieve this by using newer, more energy-efficient vehicles and advanced technologies while spending the money quickly to stimulate the economy.”
GSA will spend about $285 million for 17,600 commercially available fuel-efficient vehicles by June 1. As part of the package, GSA placed an order for 3,100 hybrid vehicles on April 14. The order, valued at $77 million, included the following nameplates, according to a GSA spokesperson: 1,150 Chevrolet Malibus, 900 Ford Fusions, 50 Saturn Vues, and 1,000 Ford Escapes.
GSA also will dedicate $15 million to pilot advanced technology vehicles in the GSA Fleet. Pilot programs will focus on commercially available compressed natural gas and hybrid buses, and all-electric vehicles. Those orders will be placed by Sept. 30.
“GSA will use existing, competitively bid contracts for all orders and does not intend to award new contracts to spend Recovery Act money,” said Commissioner James A. Williams of GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service.
GSA will buy new motor vehicles only to replace, on a one-for-one basis, operational motor vehicles in the federal inventory that currently meet replacement standards. Each vehicle purchased must have a higher miles-per-gallon rating than the vehicle it replaces with the overall goal of at least a 10 percent increase in fuel efficiency for the entire procurement.
GSA fleet administrators have been providing alternative fuel vehicles to federal agencies since 1991. To date, GSA has purchased 143,000 of the cars and trucks for its customers.
GSA manages more than one-fourth of the government’s total procurement dollars and influences the management of $500 billion in federal assets, including 8,600 government-owned or leased buildings and 213,000 vehicles.