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Pacific Rim greens internal fleet with first electric hybrid vehicle

By Jessica Glavin

Regional Administrator Ruth Cox with plug-in electric hybrid vehicle

"We get to test it out and draw from that experience to encourage other federal agencies to green
their fleets," said Regional Administrator Ruth Cox

Earlier this month, the Pacific Rim Region added its very first plug-in electric hybrid vehicle to its internal fleet. Located at the new San Francisco Federal Building on 7th Street, this type of car with more efficient city Miles Per Gallon (MPG) performance will provide another sustainable option for staff needing to use a government-owned vehicle.

Plug-in hybrids have a gasoline powered engine like normal hybrids but also have a higher capacity battery that can be charged with a dedicated charger or conventional plug-in wall socket. This additional battery capacity with plug-in feature allows the vehicle to drive on all-electric power derived from the local energy grid.

“Having our own electric hybrid vehicle provides a great opportunity for our staff,” said Regional Administrator Ruth Cox. “We not only get to test it out and draw from that experience to encourage other federal agencies to green their fleets, this moves us another step closer to achieving our fossil fuel reduction and miles per gallon goals.”

Region 9’s internal fleet has benefited extensively from greening efforts this fiscal year. Of the vehicles procured, 54 percent were hybrid drive vehicles, 21 percent were low greenhouse gas emitting vehicles and 17 percent were flex fuel vehicles that can be operated on alternative fuel like ethanol. The average projected fuel economy figures for the new vehicles amounted to a highway improvement of 14 MPG. Due to the large number of hybrid vehicles, the city MPG showcased an improvement of 18 MPG, as hybrid vehicles are most efficient in city driving and at lower speeds.

Through continued partnering, communication and analysis, Region 9 Fleet can further align our internal fleet to meet external federal regulations, as well as achieve internal agency goals pertaining to environmentally and economically sound principles for transportation. Last year alone, GSA led the way to doubling the number of hybrid vehicles in the federal fleet without increasing the overall number of vehicles owned by the Federal Government. Currently, approximately 50 percent of GSA's 210,000 leased vehicles are alternative fuel vehicles.

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