Air Force officials unveiled a plan on Wednesday to establish Los Angeles Air Force Base as the first federal facility to replace 100% of its general purpose fleet with electric vehicles.
All Air Force-owned and leased general purpose fleet vehicles on the base will be replaced with EVs. There are approximately 40 eligible vehicles, ranging from passenger sedans to two-ton trucks and shuttle buses. Vehicles used for force protection, tactical and emergency response vehicles are exempt.
The replacement PEVs include fully-electric, plug-in hybrid electric, and extended range electric vehicles.
The Department of Defense (DOD) sees this as the first step in its large-scale integration of EVs.
Initial planning for the installation of charging infrastructure at Los Angeles AFB is already underway, and the vehicles could be in place as soon as January 2012.
“With gas prices rising and the cost of batteries falling, now is the time to move toward electric vehicles,” says Under Secretary of the Air Force Erin Conaton. “The 100% Electric Vehicle Base initiative is a critical first step in this direction and will help guide the way for broader fleet electrification.”
“(Los Angeles) Air Force Base will serve as a model for future efforts to bring EVs into the Air Force and DOD,” says Camron Gorguinpour, Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Installations, Environment and Logistics.
According to Gorguinpour, the base was selected because it has a small, diverse general purpose vehicle fleet that will lessen operational risks and maximize value to the base Energy Management Program.
Los Angeles AFB is continuing to expand its use of solar energy - the new electric vehicles may be used to support and optimize the base’s solar infrastructure by providing battery capacity to store solar-generated electricity.
The Air Force and DOD are actively exploring the operation and financial feasibility of allowing vehicles to return stored electricity to the grid, when needed.
“Worldwide, the DOD has about 200,000 vehicles in its fleet, so there’s a whole lot of opportunity for us to look at creative ways to advance EVs and other emerging technologies,” Gorguinpour says.
Source: Staff Sgt. Richard Williams, Air Force Public Affairs