The US Secret Service has turned down Barack Obama’s request to convert his presidential limousine into a hybrid vehicle due to security reasons.
Mr. Obama told an audience at a town hall in Charlotte, North Carolina, that the administration was using its “purchasing power to help encourage the clean car industry”. “I asked can we make these cars hybrids,” Mr. Obama said. “Secret Service said no. Now, the reason is not because Secret Service are bad guys. It’s because the cars that I’m in are like tanks,” he was quoted as saying by the ABC news.
The president said “they just couldn’t get the performance in terms of acceleration using a hybrid engine” from his limo — nicknamed “the beast”. Reinforced for security reasons, limo weighs over two times the normal weight of cars.
The White House this week announced that after a review, they have purchased more than 5,000 hybrid cars and trucks as part of the federal fleet of vehicles.