More than half of the alternative-fuel cars bought by government agencies last year were built by Asian automakers.
About 54 percent of the 1,801 alternative-fuel vehicles were built by Hyundai, Toyota, Mitsubishi and Honda. Meanwhile, the number of alternative-fuel Ford products actually lost out to those from Hyundai, according to a report by Bloomberg.
That report cites documents obtained under a Freedom of Information request, the results of which go on to reveal that green-car purchases fell for the third year in a row despite the Obama administration’s goal to exclusively stock its fleets with alternative-fuel vehicles.
In 2009, the Obama administration bought about 8,139 alternative technology vehicles — the same year it announced a goal to have 1 million EVs on the road by 2015. But as electric car sales prove to be slow, that goal is looking less and less possible. In 2010, the government’s own purchases fell by more than 20 percent to 6,467. Those purchases were fueled by $300 million in federal stimulus spending which expired. In 2011 that meant the government only bought 2,645 alternative technology vehicles.
Why, then, is the money still being spent syphoned mostly into Asian brands? The Obama administration’s shrinking budget means its vehicle purchases go to the lowest bidder according to Roy Durham, the general manager for the dealer that sold the General Services Administration all of its foreign cars last year.
Domestic makers are finally starting to catch up with highly efficient vehicles like the Ford C-Max and Fusion – both of which are available as plug-in hybrids. Chevrolet’s Volt also stands to compete, but Toyota is still the leader for hybrid sales overall.
Discuss this story at GasStinks.com