If you’re a skeptic of electric and hybrid vehicles and think the only reason they’re having any success in the market is because of support through government incentives then you’re going to love this.
According to a new report by Bloomberg, the Obama Administration is responsible for purchasing almost a quarter of all hybrid vehicles sold by both Ford and General Motors. Purchases of hybrids by the administration have also increased as overall retail sales declined. In 2008 hybrids accounted for one percent of all vehicles purchased by the U.S. General Services Administration, while in the past two fiscal years the agency has purchased 14,584 hybrids – roughly 10 percent of the total 145,473 vehicles. Meanwhile, hybrids are approaching their third consecutive decline in sales.
Often credited for not taking bailouts by the Federal Government, Ford has benefited from the 2009 economic stimulus package with a total of 3,100 hybrids being bought out of a $300 million fund. An additional 5,600 hybrids were bought using cash from selling older fleet vehicles. Since Obama took office, his administration has accounted for 14 percent of all Ford Escape Hybrids sold, 29 percent of all Ford Fusion Hybrids sold and 64 percent of all Chevy Malibu Hybrids sold.
And while Ford and GM certainly aren’t the only automakers selling hybrids, they essentially account for all of the GSA’s purchases, with the department having acquired just 17 Toyota Prius models and only five Honda Civic Hybrids in the past two years.
Critics have long criticized government incentives as propping up sales of hybrids, which wouldn’t otherwise sell. Now it appears as though the government is doing far more to subsidize the ‘green car’ industry.