As part of President Obama’s mandate that all new government vehicles use clean energy by 2015, the US government has decided to purchase 116 new plug-in — some hybrid, some not — electric vehicles. Over a hundred of those cars will be Chevy Volts. The President and his team have scored a great deal on the cars — the manufacturers suggested retail price for the Volt is $41,000 and the government will be paying $38,500. These cars are being directly purchased by the General Services Administration and will save the government 29,000 gallons of gas — equalling over $116,000 annually.
The average taxpayer gets a $7,500 tax credit for buying a Volt which brings the price tag down to $33,500. That being said, a discount is the least that GM could do after the government invested in the company back in 2009, to keep it from going under. The General Services Administration is also purchasing a handful of Nissan Leafs — at no discount — to round out its new electric vehicle fleet.
All of this comes as a part of Obama’s oil-decreasing push, which he championed in his State of the Union address this year, and he’s planned to cut US oil imports by 1/3 by 2025. The President is hoping to get 1 million electric cars on US roads by 2015 with this internal federal pilot program being a small part of that push. The Chevy Volt has an internal combustion engine that powers a large battery, and the battery itself can run the car for about 35 miles before the gas cuts in — though some customers, with strategic charging, have managed to go 1,000 miles without filling up at the gas tank. The Leaf by contrast is solely battery powered and can run up to 100 miles on a single charge.