Back at the end of March President Obama gave a speech at Georgetown University about energy security in which, among other things, he talked about the need for better fuel efficiency standards and more alternative fuel source vehicles on the roads. He mentioned the government would lead by example in this by moving towards purchasing hybrids and electric vehicles for federal fleet use. That speech now has some teeth to it, as new federal fleet management practices and the launch of an electric vehicle pilot program were announced today.
Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, General Services Administrator Martha Johnson, and White House Council on Environmental Quality Chair Nancy Sutley said in a statement that new requirements issued by the President will move the government to purchasing 100 percent alternative fuel vehicles by 2015. Additionally, by 2020 agencies will also be required to meet a 30 percent decrease in petroleum consumption.
The electric vehicle pilot program, which is being run by the General Services Administration (GSA), will make use of vehicles supplied to the federal fleet by Chevrolet, Nissan, and Think. More than 100 EVs were purchased for this initial pilot, with the vehicles being leased to to 20 agencies in Washington, DC; Detroit, MI; Los Angeles, CA; San Diego, CA; and San Francisco, CA. The GSA said it will also coordinate with these agencies to establish necessary infrastructure for fueling and recharging at federal building locations across the country.
The companies which are taking part in the pilot apparently won out in a competitive bid process the GSA put out for. Offers were reportedly evaluated utilizing four factors: technical capability, management capability, past performance, and price. As the pilot progresses, it is said other companies may become eligible for future participation.