This week, President Barack Obama issued a plan to green the federal government's fleet of vehicles—specifying that by 2015, 100 percent of its vehicles purchased would be clean-energy, fuel-efficient models.
Today officials confirmed that's not quite true; it applies to all but the presidential motorcade and other specialized vehicles, which the Secret Service confirmed are exempt. The presidential limousine will remain an 8-mpg guzzler.
Obama previously drove a Ford Escape Hybrid (up to 32 mpg combined), and a Chrysler 300 and Jeep Cherokee, and had reportedly asked if he might be transported in a hybrid; the proposal was rejected by the Secret Service, which opted to stick with its fleet of armored vehicles, as well as the presidential limo, a custom Cadillac vehicle actually built on a medium-duty truck chassis, with parts pieces borrowed from the DTS, STS, CTS, and Escalade--plus armor-plated doors and panels built with special ceramics, titanium, and dual-hardness steel to shield more than just bullets.
Although the government hasn't issued guidelines yet, such models for the rest of the federal fleet might include hybrids, plug-ins, pure electric vehicles, flex-fuel ethanol (E85) models, or other alternative fuels such as natural gas.