FORT RILEY, Kan. - The transportation department of the Directorate of Logistics has rolled 15 new 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrids into their lineup.

"There was an executive order that said we had to reduce fossil-based fuel consumption 2 percent per year for the next 10 years, so that's a 20-percent reduction in fossil-based fuel," said Bruce Klaverweiden of the transportation department. "So in this case, the hybrid vehicle saves a lot of fuel by running a battery."

2010 was the first Fusion model with a hybrid package available, Klaverweiden said.

"This model is supposed to get 44 mpg driving around town or on post and 37 mpg on the highway," he said. "So when you're driving around the post or going at a slow speed, it's actually running off of the battery. It'll run on the battery up to 35 mph, and after that the gasoline engine kicks in.

"It seems so funny because you take off and you don't hear an engine. I haven't even turned the radio on when I've driven it. I just listen to the vehicle. It is so neat. It's like in a golf cart where you're riding along and hear no engine noise at all."

It hasn't been determined where the cars will go yet.

"We're trying to figure that where we'll get the best use out of them," Klaverweiden said.

Fort Riley also has 330 vehicles that run on E-85.

"E-85 is a renewable fuel that's made out of corn," Klaverweiden said. "We've got a project going, which has been funded, to put in a 12,000-gallon fuel tank and pumps here on Fort Riley at the Main Post fuel station."

Other plans have also been made for more environmental-friendly transportation at Fort Riley.

"We are slated to get 13, what they did call, neighborhood electric vehicles, but now they've renamed them and are called low speed vehicles," Klaverweiden said. "Between the Army and GSA is still working out the details on that. We also now have a bio-diesel fuel tank, which is made out of soy bean oil, for fork lifts. We're really trying to go green here at Fort Riley."

A van pool program has also been put on place.

"In an effort to reduce traffic congestion and air pollution and to expand commuting alternatives, the Army implemented its mass transportation benefit program," said Laura Morris of the transportation department. "The program offers DA civilians and active duty military members a tax-free subsidy up to $230 a month if they're willing to utilize mass transportation. Because Fort Riley doesn't have accessible public transportation such as bus services, we requested help from VPSI."

VPSI will provide vans and help organize pools. They also guarantee a ride home in the event that a van pool member has to stay late or leave early.

"Any personnel working on Fort Riley is authorized to use them, but only DA civilians and active duty military qualify for the benefit," Morris said.

Morris hopes the van pool program will be ready by June 1. Anyone interested can call VPSI at 1-800-VANRIDE to join a van pool, or contact Morris if they already have a group set up.

"We're doing it for the benefit of going green on the installation and for the environment," Morris said.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16