This week (September 8-16) is National Drive Electric Week, a nationwide effort to raise awareness of the availability of electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. At GSA, we celebrate electric vehicles for the role they play in helping to save taxpayer dollars and encourage continued technological advancement in the auto industry. GSA Fleet consolidates governmentwide vehicle purchasing, which allows it to offer motor vehicles at prices substantially lower than dealer invoice. Last year GSA averaged a 20.6 percent discount amounting to an estimated cost savings of $381 million.
Since 2011, GSA has supported the deployment of more than 1,600 electric vehicles and associated technology across the federal government. Several factors have contributed to the increase in the availability of electric vehicles from GSA Fleet: greater commitment from U.S. automotive manufacturers; GSA-offered open solicitation for emerging technology; and an increase in charging station infrastructure.
In 2018, U.S. automotive manufacturers committed to create more electric vehicles, which have driven new advancements in the automotive industry. Many electric vehicle models are leading their class in safety, technology, and drivability. Electric vehicles continue to perform well in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) crash testing, with several models earning the prestigious top safety pick. No longer is our idea of an electric vehicle restricted to a small class of sedans. Minivans and SUVs are quickly coming equipped with electric motors. GSA is proud to be able to offer these vehicles to agencies to meet their transportation needs.
GSA Fleet is able to support agencies with the latest commercially available vehicles through an open solicitation for emerging technology. In fiscal year 2018, GSA offered two all-electric sedans, three plug-in hybrid electric sedans, one plug-in hybrid electric minivan, and, for the first time, a plug-in hybrid electric SUV. Next year, we hope to offer additional availability in new vehicle categories, providing agencies with more opportunities and options to electrify their fleet.
As electric vehicles become more mainstream, charging station infrastructure continues to meet the demand. In the last year, more than 2,000 additional charging stations have been installed across the U.S. according to data collected by the U.S. Department of Energy. With more places to charge vehicles – from parking lots, to highway rest stops, and airports – finding a place to recharge has never been easier. This is just the beginning of our road trip to electrification and a great time to drive electric.
GSA is happy to celebrate National Drive Electric Week this week, and every week as we continue to incorporate electric vehicles into the federal fleet to meet the needs of the acquiring agency.
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