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Government Speeds Up Hybrid Car Purchase

By Ed O'Keefe

Federal employees may soon find themselves behind the wheel of hybrid and fuel-efficient vehicles like this Chevrolet Volt, displayed recently in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Getty)

The government has stepped on the gas, accelerating parts of a big purchase of fuel-efficient, hybrid vehicles to replace part of the federal government's aging fleet. The General Services Administration will buy 2,500 hybrid sedans by next Wednesday and the government will use $285 million of economic stimulus funds to purchase a total of 17,600 fuel efficient vehicles by June 1 from Chrysler, Ford and General Motors.

"I am 100 percent committed to a strong American auto industry, and we will stand with America’s auto workers and their families during these difficult times," President Obama said in a statement.

"This is only a first step, but I will continue to ensure that we are working to support the American auto industry during this difficult period of restructuring."

The government's purchase of new eco-friendly automobiles will reduce its overall gas consumption by 1.3 million gallons per year and cut its carbon dioxide emissions by 26 million pounds, the White House said. GSA can only purchase vehicles that have a higher miles-per-gallon rating than the vehicle it replaces.

No immediate word on which agencies will get the cars or which makes and models will be purchased.

By Ed O'Keefe  | April 9, 2009; 4:29 PM ET
Categories:  Agencies and Departments, Contracting  
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I've been wondering what the manufacturers were going to do with those vehicles nobody else wants! Thank God the Government has stepped in to save the day!

Posted by: pholeck | April 10, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse

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