The state of Pennsylvania would be required to introduce hybrid gas-electric cars to its vehicle fleet within the next two years under a bill discussed by a legislative panel on Feb. 16, the Associated Press reported. State Rep. Daylin Leach, who is sponsoring the measure, said the average hybrid vehicle gets 20 miles more per gallon than the vehicles the state is currently leasing, and that each additional 10 miles per gallon saves about $250 per year in gas, or 12 full tanks. According to the Associated Press report, Pennsylvania does not currently have any hybrids in its 38,000-vehicle fleet because state law says the government can only procure vehicles made in North America, said Frank Kane, spokesman for the Department of General Services, which oversees 16,000 of the vehicles. When it was introduced in September, the legislation called for the state to make sure that at least 10 percent of the vehicles it procures each year are hybrids, beginning Jan. 1, 2007. Leach has more recently proposed deleting the 10 percent requirement and simply requiring the state to launch a pilot program to buy hybrid-electric vehicles by Jan. 1, 2006. Under the revisions, which the committee would have to amend into the bill before approving it, the introduction of hybrid cars would have to occur "as expeditiously as market forces and the effective operation of the department permit."

Originally posted on Fleet Financials