Pennsylvania will add 25 hybrid cars to its auto fleet as part of new pilot program

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania will begin to introduce hybrid cars to its auto fleet as part of a Hybrid/Electric Vehicles Pilot Program introduced by state officials Tuesday.

Pennsylvania Department of General Services Secretary Curt Topper was joined by Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn and Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Policy Director Jessica Shirley today to officially launch the Commonwealth’s Hybrid/Electric Vehicles Pilot Program.

“We are very excited to take this first step towards the integration of hybrid and plug-in electric technology into our commonwealth vehicle fleet,” Pennsylvania Department of General Services Secretary Curt Topper said. “We all play a role in reducing our carbon footprint. We’ve already taken steps to ‘go green’ in our buildings and facilities, so the logical next step is to now look at how we can be more environmentally friendly with the cars we put on the road on a daily basis.”

According to Topper, the pilot program will consist of three types of vehicles: 2017 Chevrolet Volt Hybrid, 2017 Ford Focus Electric and 2017 Ford Fusion Energi. A total of 25 vehicles will be involved in the pilot program, in which the departments of Conservation and Natural Resources and Environmental Protection are early participants.

DGS will assign four of their 17 vehicles to DEP, and DCNR purchased eight vehicles for their agency. DGS has two level-2 charging stations at the Commonwealth Garage at 22nd and Forster Streets; while DCNR worked out a deal with PP&L to donate eight charging stations for their use at the 5th Street Garage in downtown Harrisburg.

“As Pennsylvania's conservation agency, our work to green our fleet and promote sustainability helps us be responsible with the use of agency resources and highlight best practices,” Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn said. “Hybrid and electric vehicles will reduce carbon and decrease fuel costs – a win for the environment and the pocketbook.”

DGS is recommending agencies use the vehicles as pool cars, which will allow more employees to experience the technology. The department looks to lease the cars out to agencies who express interest in hybrid or plug-in electric vehicles, such as DEP who will be the first agency to get green cars from DGS.

This pilot program which is expected to last approximately 42-60 months will give the commonwealth the opportunity to identify the sustainability, operational ease, maintenance and resale value of hybrid and plug-in electric vehicles in the state fleet.

Based on the results of the pilot, the commonwealth will make recommendations to develop policies for hybrid and plug-in electric vehicles to determine how many vehicles are needed in the fleet, how they should be assigned and how long they should be kept in the fleet.