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The GSA plans to replace aging vehicle fleet with hybrids

The United States General Services Administration (GSA) has announced a new Fleet consolidation initiative. The goal of this initiative is to replace a huge number of the federal government's existing vehicle fleet with new and more fuel-efficient hybrid vehicles. Up to 10,000 new hybrid vehicles would be purchased under this initiative.

The GSA says that it can reduce fuel consumption per year for the life of these vehicles by 1,000,000 gallons and that there will be significant savings earned through improved fuel efficiency.


2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid

“Providing a hybrid federal fleet is an essential part of 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.”

The initiative allows federal agencies to choose whether or not to participate in the program. If the agency chooses to participate, the GSA will fund the total incremental cost to replace eligible consolidated vehicles with new hybrid vehicles. Federal agencies that consolidate their fleets with GSA Fleet will also receive fleet management services including vehicle acquisition and disposal, maintenance control, and accident management.
 
However, the GSA does charge a monthly rate for the services.

Source: GSA



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RE: Mr. Sequester, Meet Mr. Green
By ebakke on 4/25/2013 8:48:10 PM , Rating: 2
The opportunity cost associated with taxation. If you take X from me to "invest" in hybrids, I can't spend that same money elsewhere. Same is true if you borrow X on my behalf. I either a) don't have the money today, or b) know I won't have it tomorrow. In either case, there's a cost to the known government action: the unknown individual actions.


RE: Mr. Sequester, Meet Mr. Green
By Mint on 4/26/2013 7:48:42 AM , Rating: 2
Why do you look only at taxation and completely ignore the other costs offloaded to society that I'm mentioning? Are poorer families buying used vehicles just an afterthought to you?

You don't have a choice about being taxed, and a future used car buyer doesn't have a choice about the average fuel economy of the cars available to him. It's the same thing.

Would you support the gov't using shoddy materials for a highway that it sells as a toll road to the private market? Who do you think is going to pay for that down the road? But hey, let's minimize the spending of your tax dollars because you're not going to be driving on that road.


RE: Mr. Sequester, Meet Mr. Green
By ebakke on 4/26/2013 11:08:55 AM , Rating: 2
Hybrids cost more. It stands to reason that their residual values will be higher. Poorer families aren't going to buy a used hybrid because it'll still cost more than a used Kia Rio. The other cars still exist in the market place and they still have a lower cost of entry.

quote:
ou don't have a choice about being taxed, and a future used car buyer doesn't have a choice about the average fuel economy of the cars available to him. It's the same thing.
It is not the same thing at all. One is a direct consequence of the majority's authority over the minority (often for a political gain), and one is an indirect consequence of thousands/millions of unrelated decisions by individual people.
quote:
Would you support the gov't using shoddy materials for a highway that it sells as a toll road to the private market? Who do you think is going to pay for that down the road? But hey, let's minimize the spending of your tax dollars because you're not going to be driving on that road.
What? If we're giving this road away to some private entity to operate, why are we building it in the first place?


RE: Mr. Sequester, Meet Mr. Green
By Mint on 4/26/2013 5:35:39 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Poorer families aren't going to buy a used hybrid because it'll still cost more than a used Kia Rio.
I said poorER, as in poorer than those who buy new cars, not outright poor. I'm very clearly talking about everyone who buys used cars.

quote:
One is a direct consequence of the majority's authority over the minority (often for a political gain), and one is an indirect consequence of thousands/millions of unrelated decisions by individual people.
So what? We know that buying hybrids reduces the total cost - direct plus indirect - to society. As long as a car is adequately functional, it will be used by someone for 200k+ miles. You can't plead ignorance and pretend direct taxpayer cost is the only thing that matters.
quote:
What? If we're giving this road away to some private entity to operate, why are we building it in the first place?
Who said it's being given away? It's sold/leased to the highest bidder. Many assets built by the public sector are eventually privatized, and further to my example, there are many private highways in the US:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Private_highways_in_t...
Sometimes only a few lanes are privatized.

So stop dodging the question and tell me if it makes sense for the gov't to cut corners in a long term asset it builds and later sells.


RE: Mr. Sequester, Meet Mr. Green
By ebakke on 4/27/2013 1:25:42 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I'm very clearly talking about everyone who buys used cars.
The cars will still cost more than non-hybrids when they reach the used car market. Buyers will still have to weigh paying more up front for something that should cost less in the long term (assuming they don't sell it or crash it in the meantime).
quote:
You can't plead ignorance and pretend direct taxpayer cost is the only thing that matters.
I never claimed it was the only thing that matters. What I'm stating, is that the taxpayer cost isn't just the raw dollars collected and spent. You must include what those dollars could be doing elsewhere.

I also don't care what someone else pays or uses for their transportation needs. They might choose an automobile. They might use a bike. They might walk. They might use public transit. It doesn't matter to me. So someone else saving money on gas in 5 years when they buy a 100k mile, used Prius doesn't give me warm fuzzy feelings. And it certainly doesn't make me want to pay for it. There's no reason we (collectively) should be subsidizing one particular method of transportation.
quote:
So stop dodging the question and tell me if it makes sense for the gov't to cut corners in a long term asset it builds and later sells.
Oh get off your high horse. I'm not dodging anything - you had a poorly worded argument that didn't make sense to me.

No, I don't think it makes sense to cut corners on a long term asset the gov't builds. But in your road example privatizing them is absolutely the exception, not the rule, and they aren't built to be privatized. That's an afterthought. By and large, they're public assets and they're (at least in part) paid for by the people who use them. I greatly prefer a well built road that requires less (and therefore less costly) maintenance. But again, in that example, we're talking about something paid for by the people who use it. Not the case with this GSA plan.


RE: Mr. Sequester, Meet Mr. Green
By maugrimtr on 4/26/2013 10:58:15 AM , Rating: 2
Won't they be taking your money, i.e. Tax, anyway? It's going to be spent - so there is no opportunity cost to you.


RE: Mr. Sequester, Meet Mr. Green
By ebakke on 4/26/2013 11:15:11 AM , Rating: 2
Even if they're taking it over my objections, I'm still losing out on my ability to use those resources elsewhere. And, if government expense Foo costs $10M when an alternative costs $8M - that's $2M that either a) won't be returned to you and I, b) won't be spent on government expense Bar, or c) will be collected from you and I so that the overloards can fund Foo and Bar.

No matter how you slice it, expenditures come at a cost (duh). That includes both the raw dollars leaving the piggy bank, as well as the opportunity for those dollars to be put to productive use elsewhere. It doesn't matter if they left your piggy bank at the point of a gun.


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