In what is the single largest acquisition of its kind ever, Secretary of the Army Pete Geren announced today that the Army plans to lease thousands of neighborhood electric vehicles (NEVs).
"The Army is committed to substantially reducing the greenhouse gas emissions through our acquisition of Neighborhood Electric Vehicles," Geren said. "This historic acquisition will constitute the largest acquisition of electric vehicles not just in the military, but in the entire country."
The announcement was made during an acceptance ceremony at Ft. Myer, where six of the new vehicles will be incorporated into base operations. The NEVs are part of a more comprehensive and far--reaching energy security strategy designed to save energy and money, and to wean the Army from fossil fuels. The Army is focused on harnessing renewable and alternative energy sources like geothermal, solar and biomass conversion.
The 4,000 non-tactical electric vehicles will be used on Army bases for passenger transport, security patrol, and maintenance and delivery services.
In addition to the vehicles delivered to Fort Myer, the Army will lease 794 more NEVs this year; 1,600 will be leased in 2010, and 1,600 leased in 2011. A General Services Administration announcement in FedBizOps.Gov solicits NEV manufacturers to help provide the vehicles to meet the Army's goal of 4,000 NEVs in three years.
The vehicles delivered to the Fort Myer Installation today were two four-passenger sedan NEV models and four two-passenger NEV utility models. The utility model has a stake bed and a 1,000 pound payload capability. With a full eight-hour charge, the NEVs can traverse 30 miles at a top, street-legal speed of 25 miles per hour.
These first six electric vehicles are manufactured by the Global Electric Motorcars division of Chrysler Corporation. But dozens of other companies that manufacture electric vehicles can compete to meet Army vehicular requirements in the future.
The Army will save money by leasing electric vehicles vice leasing gasoline- or hybrid-powered vehicles. Fuel or energy costs for the electric vehicles also are significantly lessAca,!aEURcan estimated $460 annually for the electric vehicle versus an estimated $1,200 annually for gasoline-powered cars.
The environmental benefits, likewise, are impressive. By using electric vehicles, the Army will reduce its fossil fuel consumption by 11.5 million gallons over a six-year period. This translates into 115,000 fewer tons of CO2 emissions during that same period. This is significant because CO2 emissions contribute to global warming.
The 4,000 electric vehicles will be used in a non-tactical environment; however, as part of its Future Combat Systems (FCS) ground force modernization program, the Army is developing a suite of eight new hybrid-electric powered Manned Ground Vehicles (MGVs) for its armored forces. These more fuel-efficient vehicles will reduce the Army's dependence on fossil fuels and reduce the number of refueling convoys exposed in combat.
The FCS vehicles also will give Soldiers the power output to deploy on the battlefield vastly more capable life-saving technologiesAca,!aEURcincluding superior reconnaissance, surveillance and intelligence assets. More modern and robust reconnaissance, surveillance and intelligence capabilities have proven decisive in key battles in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"The Army will continue to leverage new and emerging technologies to ease its dependence on fossil fuels," said Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy and Partnerships and Senior Energy Executive for the Army Paul Bollinger.
"With more than 12 million acres and 155 installations, the Army has the secure land and facilities to provide industry with a strong foundation for commercial development of renewable energy for our country. The Army can and will be a catalyst for greater production and innovation by renewable and alternative energy producers," Bollinger said.
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