President Obama has ordered the federal vehicle fleet to run entirely on alternative fuels by 2015 – meaning a likely boom for the propane autogas industry.
Issuing a Presidential Memorandum last week, Obama also announced his administration would purchase 100 electric vehicles in a pilot aimed at reducing America’s reliance on foreign oil.
“The Federal Government operates the largest fleet of light-duty vehicles in America,” the memorandum reads. “We owe a responsibility to American citizens to lead by example and contribute to meeting our national goals of reducing oil imports by one-third by 2025 and putting one million advanced vehicles on the road by 2015.”
The decree requires all light-duty vehicles leased or purchased by federal agencies to be alternatively fueled – such as hybrid or electric, compressed natural gas or biofuel – by December 31, 2015. It also limits the size of the 600,000-vehicle fleet to midsize or smaller sedans.
A doubling of the federal electric car fleet last year resulted in improved efficiency, , with gasoline consumption estimated to fall 7.7 million gallons, about 385,000 barrels of oil, TruckingInfo.com reported.
The latest announcement follows Obama’s National Clean Fleets Partnership, launched earlier this year, which helps companies reduce diesel and gasoline use in their fleets by switching to cheaper, alternative fuels such as propane autogas.
Autogas is cheaper and cleaner burning than traditional vehicle fuels and is becoming more popular as gasoline prices soar. It already powers 15 million vehicles worldwide and autogas proponents aim to roughly double the number of autogas-powered vehicles in the US to 500,000 by 2013.
Proposed legislation tabled in Washington last week seeks to extend tax credits for autogas, autogas-powered vehicles and autogas fueling infrastructure for another five years to promote cleaner energy and reduce reliance on imported crude oil.