EV charging 1
The electric vehicle charging station in front of Fort Rucker's Bldg. 5700, the Soldier Service Center. Only vehicles receiving the service are allowed to park in the two spaces next to the charger. (Photo Credit: Photo by Jim Hughes) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- Fort Rucker installed its first electric vehicle charging station recently in the Bldg. 5700 parking lot across Novosel Street.

The Level 2, dual-port charger made its first charge April 7, said Alana Klosky, Directorate of Public Works installation energy manager, adding that the service is available for military and privately owned vehicles through the ChargePoint app.

“We are very excited to offer our military, employees, friends and families a place to charge their electric vehicles. This is the first of many Fort Rucker plans to install around the installation,” she said. “Before, we were not able to offer this service to those who needed it. We are already receiving positive feedback regarding the charger, and this helps us when planning the locations of additional chargers.

“Since this is the only charger available on Fort Rucker, we expect the demand to be high, so we want to regulate parking in these spaces if not charging,” Klosky said, adding that the rates for the service are $1 an hour while charging and $2 an hour after a one-hour grace period upon completion of charging.

Fort Rucker partnered with Alabama Power to bring the charge to the post, and it’s a safe bet that more chargers will be needed in the not-so-distant future, Klosky added.

“The need for EV chargers is expected to grow substantially over the next few years. Executive Order 14057 targets all light-duty, non-tactical vehicle acquisitions be zero-emission vehicles by 2027,” she said, adding that there is a Department of Defense draft “Zero-Emission Vehicle Implementation Guide” to help successfully transition all government-owned vehicles to a ZEV fleet. “The Army directive regarding ZEV NTVs is in the final stages of publication. This directive will encourage innovation and partnership in acquisition of electric vehicle support equipment, performance standards for EV and EVSE acquisitions, and the tools needed to plan and support the transition.”

DPW is developing its long-range EV charging plan, Klosky said. “Part of the development process includes estimating the amount of EVs on post currently and following guidance the government provides for future EV acquisitions. I am able to track the usage that the charger is providing, and since there are currently no electric GOVs, I know that every car charging is a privately owned vehicle. This is beneficial in determining the demand of electric POVs on post.”

Many factors went into deciding where to place the government-owned charger, she added.

“Two factors that were weighed heavily were where the existing infrastructure was already in place to help minimize cost, and where the most use would be based off of facility use and location,” Klosky said. “Bldg. 5700 was decided on because of the existing infrastructure, and it being a central location for military, employees and visitors.”