The General Services Administration – the fleet purchasing arm of the U.S. government – said this week it will acquire 10,000 hybrids to nearly double the number of these alternative powertrain vehicles in an effort to save fuel and cut emissions.

In May 2011, President Obama gave orders to government employees to cease driving full-sized sedans and SUVs unless necessary. The order does have a loophole allowing for E85 vehicles to count as “alternative fueled” even if they are never filled with E85, but overall it appears the rule is taking positive effect.

Presently the GSA’s leased fleet consists of 5.3 percent hybrids, or 10,672 according to the Detroit News which relayed the info from GSA spokesperson Jackeline Yvette Stewart-Johnson.

The GSA estimates the 10,000 new hybrids will save 1 million gallons of gasoline annually for as long as they are in operation.

“Providing a hybrid federal fleet is an essential part of the GSA’s commitment to making government agencies as efficient and effective as possible,” said GSA acting Administrator Dan Tangherlini. “At a time when government needs to make every tax dollar count, GSA is committed to creating more energy efficiency and cost-saving opportunities like the fleet consolidation program that make government smarter and reduce our environmental footprint.”

Far above the average in going green is, not surprisingly, the U.S. Department of the Interior which administrates national parks. Its fleet is already close to one-third hybrid and it will be in for 300 more alternative fueled vehicles. The park service also operates electric vehicles in limited cases, including small neighborhood electric vehicles for running around facilities and grounds.

“This is a simply a good business decision that will benefit not only our bottom line, but reduce our carbon emissions as well,” said Interior Secretary Sally Jewell.

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