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USA: U.S. Veteran’s Affairs Offices Trial Electric Cars

Propelled by an electric engine, the rubber is hitting the road in Maryland. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), including the VA Maryland Health Care System, and 20 other federal agencies nationwide are participating in a General Services Administration (GSA) pilot to test the efficacy of electric cars by incorporating them into the Federal fleet. More than 100 electric vehicles are being leased to agencies in Maryland, California, Michigan, and other locations. At the VA Maryland Health Care System, five Think City electric cars are replacing five petroleum fuel internal combustion engine vehicles, and they will be used like any other automobile to test their capabilities, says Robert Coleman, supervisory motor vehicle operator for the health care system. The cars’ performance will be evaluated using four criteria: performance, fuel savings, cost, and durability.
“The cars are designed for highway driving and can go as fast as 70 miles an hour,” says Coleman, who wanted to test electric cars as part of the VA Maryland Health Care System fleet more than five years ago. “Because it is a pilot program, no one knows how well they’ll perform, but to test their capabilities, the cars will be used for travel between the Baltimore and Perry Point VA Medical Centers (a 100 mile round-trip commute) by a variety of employees, just like the cars they’re replacing.”


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