Electric cars power up at Fort Sill
February 26, 2010
By Jeff Crawley
FORT SILL, Okla. - Fort Sill motorists may soon notice some unique looking vehicles when 31 Neighborhood Electric Vehicles, or NEVs, hit the roadways.
The Directorate of Logistics received the Columbia ParCar NEVs in a mix of four-passenger and light-utility models which will be about evenly issued next week to garrison directorates and Training and Doctrine Command offices.
"They're pretty cool; I like them," said Mike Tate, a mechanic-helper with the Transportation Motor Pool at DOL, who has driven the NEV. "They turn pretty good and they get you where you need to go."
The GSA-leased vehicles are street legal and have license plates. With a top speed of about 27 mph, they are fine for the majority of Fort Sill's roads, said Jim Beazer, installation transportation officer.
"They are really good for people who do courier runs," Beazer said. "The guys who spend all day running from that building to another building."
The military has begun using more electric vehicles to reduce gasoline consumption. Executive Order 13423 requires the Army to reduce non-tactical vehicle petroleum consumption by 2 percent annually through 2015. The NEVs are expected to help the Army reach these goals, according to a white paper on NEVs dated September 2008.
The ParCars have a 17.3-horsepower motor, range of about 35 miles and eight 6-volt batteries, which can be charged on a household 110-volt outlet, according to Columbia literature. Beazer said he believes the cost of electricity to keep the vehicles charged and running will be nominal.
NEVs are not new to the fort, Bezaer said. The 6th Air Defense Artillery Brigade brought theirs with them when they moved from Fort Bliss, Texas.
"I happen to know their leadership uses them," he said.
The sight of NEVs on Fort Sill and DoD installations may eventually become commonplace.
"It's the future," Beazer said. "We got 31 this year and we'll get about that number next year and there will be more purchases in the future."