Aura Green Line Added to 3 Federal Fleets in Kansas

by Anthony Fontanelle - Date: 2007-07-01 - Word Count: 596 Share This!

Three Kansas City area federal agencies added Monday the new 2007 Saturn Aura Green Line hybrid vehicles to their fleets. Two vehicles were delivered by the federal General Services Administration (GSA) to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 7 office in Kansas City, Kan. One is for EPA and one for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in Kansas City, Mo. A third will be added to the GSA fleet in Kansas City, Mo.

Regional Administrator for the NHTSA's Central Region Romell Cooks received the keys to a new Saturn Aura Green Line hybrid. "While safety of the motoring public is a key concern of the NHTSA, we are equally concerned about the fuel efficiency of our passenger cars and light trucks," Cooks said. "These types of vehicles will make a difference."

GSA ordered fifty Saturn Aura Green Line vehicles this year to be delivered nationwide. The Saturn Aura Green Line hybrids are assembled at the General Motor Corp.'s Fairfax Assembly plant in Kansas City, Kan. The Aura Green Line is a mild hybrid, following the VUE Green Line as the second vehicle in Saturn's lineup incorporating GM's belt alternator starter system.

Same with the Vue, the Aura Green Line features the 2.4L Ecotec engine mated to an electric motor or generator and the 4T45-E four-speed automatic transmission. This powertrain is rated at 164 horsepower and 159 pound feet of torque. The electric motor or generator bolsters the gasoline engine during launch and under wide-open throttle.

The Saturn Aura Green Line also flaunts trusted auto parts from the automaker such as the Saturn clutch kit, body parts, filters, spark plugs, radiators, cold air intake and more. The hybrid has an EPA estimated fuel economy of 28 mpg city and 35 mpg highway, which the automaker claims is up to a 30 percent improvement over the Aura XE. The Saturn Aura Green Line is eligible for a $1300 US Federal tax credit, as well as several state tax credits. The hybrid has been on sale since late March this year.

The Green Line is a variant of Saturn Aura. The Aura is a crucial product line for both Saturn and General Motors. Its production is part of a product rejuvenation for Saturn to push the company into the black at the same time to compete tightly with European imports. So far, feedback to the Aura has been positive, both in terms of sales and reviews.

Executive Order 13423, signed by President Bush in January, compels federal agencies to raise alternative fuel use by ten percent annually. GSA's fleet management division has delivered 3,581 bi-fuel and 20 biodiesel vehicles to regional federal agencies. Executive Order 13423 is aimed at strengthening federal environmental, energy, and transportation management of the nation.

EPA Region 7 Administrator John Askew accepted the vehicle for the environmental agency. Askew said, "Using fuel efficient vehicles like the Saturn hybrid we're receiving today just makes sense. Not only does it protect the environment by reducing emissions, but using less fuel strengthens our energy security."

GSA Heartland Region Administrator Bradley Scott said, "GSA is proud to join EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration as government leaders in using and supporting environmentally friendly vehicles, and we look forward to providing energy efficient vehicles and alternative fuel-use cars to more federal agencies in the future."

Executive Order 13423 also directs federal agencies with more than 20 motor vehicles to reduce petroleum consumption by two percent annually through 2015. The Saturn Aura's estimated fuel mileage is 35 miles per gallon. With the alarming global warming concerns, lawmakers and automakers are enduring the burden.

Related Tags: auto parts, saturn clutch kit

Anthony Fontanelle is a 35-year-old automotive buff who grew up in the Windy City. He does freelance work for an automotive magazine when he is not busy customizing cars in his shop.

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