Fort Bliss' commanding general and command sergeant major have been using electric cars for about nine months when visiting Soldiers and training around the post - leading by example in the "go green" initiative to use renewable energy.

"We're really trying to show it off to the community," said Maj. Gen. Howard B. Bromberg. "I definitely take the opportunity to drive it."

The cars are made from recycled plastic and can reach speeds of 25 miles an hour. This mode of transportation around the post is more efficient than fuel-consuming vehicles, said Command Sgt. Maj. David Davenport, who initially resisted the idea.

He said the turning point for him was driving the car for the first time, which convinced him this was a great way to demonstrate the leadership's commitment to helping keep energy costs down, while also protecting the environment.

Both Bromberg and Davenport said driving the electric car serves as a platform to discuss the energy initiatives Fort Bliss is trying to accomplish.

"We get a lot of unusual looks and stares when we're out and about on the post with the car," said Davenport. "It's a great way of getting Soldiers' attention - it always strikes up a conversation about 'Why are you driving a little car like that.'"

Officials are encouraging entities on post that manage short distances and small distribution missions to use electric cars. Davenport said, one such place he is aware of that is using the vehicles is the Arrival and Departure Airfield Control Group located on East Bliss.

Leaders hope to inspire others to explore and implement activities to save energy and costs to the environment. Bromberg said these actions include using skylights, solar panels, and geo-thermal projects.

"We want to do more than just electric cars - this is just a start about changing the culture," said Bromberg. "What we have to do is change everybody's attitude, and once we change attitude, people will go out and do these kind of activities to save energy and save the environment."

Fort Bliss will hold a renewable energy rodeo and symposium June 7 through 10 in which industries will display the latest mature technologies and innovations in renewable energy concepts and alternative fuel technologies available. In addition, subject-matter experts and guest speakers will discuss critical energy topics affecting the military and the nation.

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