In a spin-off of the “What Would Jesus Drive” anti-sport utility vehicle effort, a Michigan interfaith group has urged Gov. Jennifer Granholm to replace the state’s 6,934-vehicle fleet with fuel-efficient cars to save millions of dollars and significantly reduce emissions. The Michigan Interfaith Climate and Energy Campaign issued the call as part of its “What Should the Governor Drive?” campaign, which like the national anti-SUV drive contends that consumers and automakers have a moral duty to drive and manufacture vehicles that are kinder to nature. According to the Michigan group’s report, the state would use nearly 102,000 fewer gallons of gasoline and save more than $100,000 in the year after beginning to replace its fleets with alternative-fuel-powered cars. After replacing the entire fleet with the most fuel-efficient care in each class, more than 610,000 gallons of gasoline would be saved per year. In the first 10 years of the replacement policy, Michigan would use 4.58 million fewer gallons of gasoline, the equivalent of keeping 1,018 cars off the road. At a rate of $1 per gallon, the state would reduce fuel costs by $4.5 million over the decade. The savings detailed in the report are based on the state’s fleet of cars and light trucks, excluding police vehicles. If the cars are replaced every six years, approximately 1,156 new vehicles are purchased annually. The entire fleet would be replaced after six years. Using fuel-efficient vehicles would also shrink greenhouse gas emissions, according to the report. Nitrogen oxide emissions would also contract by 4,009 pounds by 2006, then level off. The state has reduced its leased fleet by nearly 1,300 vehicles since February, saving $2.7 million, said Bridget Medina, a Department of Management and Budget spokesperson. The department also reported that only 5.1 percent of state-owned or leased vehicles in late May were SUVs.

Originally posted on Fleet Financials