Since the beginning of Obama’s first term as President, the former Illinois senator has been pushing for more alternative fuel and plug-in cars. In pursuit of that goal, Obama has pushed initiatives like the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing (AVTM) that loaned money to Tesla Motors, and now the President is pushing Federal agencies to buy more plug-in cars.
The Detroit News reports that the Obama administration wants federal agencies to make plug-in hybrids and EVs 20% of their fleet purchases by 2020, and 50% by 2025. This isn’t the first time Obama has pushed efficient vehicles onto federal fleets, but this time he is signing an executive order to make it happen. That means the next time you see a DEA or FBI vehicle, there’s a good chance it could be more efficient than your daily driver.
With approximately 650,000 vehicles in its combined fleets, and more than 175,000 new vehicle purchases in the first ten months of 2014 alone, the administration says these efforts will save American taxpayers about $18 billion in unspent energy costs by 2025. More importantly, using plug-in vehicles will reduce carbon emissions by some 26 million tons over the next decade. Considering the U.S. government is the single largest consumer of energy in North America, reducing its dependency on foreign oil will go a long way towards balancing the budget and fighting climate change. Obama also wants to add a $10,000 point-of-sale rebate to consumer purchases of plug-in cars, and with this executive order, the government is leading by example.
In addition to cleaning up its fleet of road warriors, the Obama administration is calling for some 360,000 federal buildings to use 2.5% less energy per year over the next decade (for 25% total reduction), as well as reducing water intensity by 2% per year as well. My only complaint is that it took Obama six years to finally get to this point. Imagine if he had started these initiatives in 2009, instead of 2015?