Georgia — the country — to electrify auto fleet

georgia-plug-inseditors-blog-entry3Not moved by the environmental argument to convert to plug-in vehicles?

Then you might want to consider the significant geopolitical ramifications of an American – and global – movement toward electric vehicles.

Plug-in vehicles dramatically reduce oil consumption. This means increased fueling independence on both an individual and societal level.

And, to combat the Ameri-centrism that might be out there, it’s important to note that the link between reduced oil consumption and greater individual – and national – fueling independence doesn’t hold true only for the United States.

Take Georgia, for example.

Georgia says it is the first country in the world with official plans to replace its entire government fleet with plug-in vehicles.

No, not that Georgia – the Georgia that broke away from the Soviet Union in 1991.

Replace government auto fleet
According to The New York Times, the government of Georgia wants to replace its entire state-owned vehicle fleet with plug-in hybrid and pure electric cars.

Yes, environmental considerations are part of the motivation behind Georgia’s decision – the Ministry of the Economy in Georgia has been renamed the Ministry of the Economy and Sustainable Development.

But geopolitical considerations are playing a big role in this decision too. Georgia wants to reduce its dependence on Russian oil and increase its own fueling independence and thereby its national security.

The small country of 4.5 million people sandwiched between Russia and Turkey and nestled on the east side of the Black Sea, has what The Times describes as a “rich supply of cheap hydroelectric power from dams in the Caucasus Mountains.”

A load of LEAFs for Georgia?
In other words, thanks to its own mountainous geography and the emergence of mass-produced of plug-ins such as the Chevy Volt and the Nissan LEAF, Georgia – again, the country of Georgia, not the U.S. state of Georgia 😉 — has the means to move a significant portion of its transportation sector away from dirty imported oil to clean, internally produced hydroelectric power.

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Georgia, which says it is the first country in the world with official plans to replace its entire government fleet with plug-in vehicles, is talking to several auto companies in an effort to strike a giant plug-in purchase deal of several thousand vehicles.

Initially, it will be expensive to follow through on converting the government fleet to plug-ins, well over $100 million, according to The New York Times.

However, Georgia’s investment in plug-ins will deliver a triple dose of long-term gain: Increased national fueling independence, greater national security, and cleaner local air.

Go Bulldogs! — oops, I mean, Go Georgians of the Southern Caucuses!

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