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State Fleet Should Begin Transition To Electricity

Originally published at Seattle PI

With Washington's government facing a $3.2 billion budget deficit, we need to cut expenses now. One smart place to start is with a two- to three-year moratorium on buying new state fleet vehicles and to begin the transition from oil to electricity in transportation.

Virtually every major automaker will sell plug-in hybrid or all-electric vehicles starting in 2010-12. General Motors is advertising the plug-in Chevy Volt for 2010. Ford, Chrysler, Toyota, Renault, Nissan, Mitsubishi, BMW, Volkswagen and Mercedes will have plug-in cars on the road within three years. Last month Warren Buffett bought a major stake in BYD, a Chinese company that will have an electric-powered five-passenger car for sale this month.

Instead of buying state vehicles that will be consuming gasoline for the next decade or two, the governor should order an immediate moratorium on buying new gasoline-powered cars for the state fleet and make firm plans for the purchase of the coming plug-in cars that use little or no gasoline.

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