Fort Polk drives into future with solar charging stations, electric cars

By Angie ThorneFebruary 14, 2023

Fort Polk drives into future with solar charging stations, electric cars
1 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – An electric vehicle charges at a new solar charger at the Woodfill Hall parking lot Feb. 2. There are eight new charging stations in parking lots across South Fort Polk. (Photo Credit: Angie Thorne) VIEW ORIGINAL
Fort Polk drives into future with solar charging stations, electric cars
2 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – A solar charging station is placed and set up for use in the Woodfill Hall parking lot Jan. 31 and Feb. 1. (Photo Credit: Angie Thorne) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT POLK, La. — The world seems to be driving in the direction of vehicles run with electricity. The destination being a more environmentally sound way to travel from point A to B.

Fort Polk is supporting the Army’s climate strategy vehicle electrification goals by placing eight electric vehicle solar chargers in select parking lots across the installation to support 19 non-tactical electric vehicles procured in 2022.

The Army’s non-tactical vehicle fleet constitutes approximately 3% of Army greenhouse gas emissions. As of September 2021, U.S. Army Materiel Command’s NTV fleet totaled 26,219 vehicles, of which 25,488 are leased from Government Services Administration.  Approximately 1,020 (3.9%) of the GSA-leased vehicle fleet consist of low or no-emission vehicles. 

Moving to lease and purchase zero-emission NTVs will significantly reduce GHG and support President Joe Biden’s Executive Orders: EO 13990 — Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science to Tackle the Climate Crisis and EO 14008 — Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad. 

As directed by U.S. Army Materiel Command, the Fort Polk garrison, in coordination with stakeholders, is preparing mid-range to long-range master plans to transition to electric, NTV in support of the electrification of the government’s fleet.

To support interim in-bound zero-emission NTVs purchased recently, eight solar electric vehicle support equipment “vehicle chargers” are now deployed around South Fort to support missions aligned with zero-emission vehicles. Additional ZEVs are anticipated during 2023 and years to follow in efforts to reduce GHG emissions and to support the overall Army Climate Resilience Strategy.

Fort Polk’s Directorate of Public Works continues to support the Army’s Climate Strategy today and into the future and stands ready to help as needed.

David Broyles, Fort Polk’s Directorate of Public Works energy manager, said the eight electric vehicle charging stations deliver clean renewable energy to re-energize electric vehicles.

“Given that pure electric, non-tactical vehicles do not exhaust carbon gas into the atmosphere, the Fort Polk community benefits with cleaner air and reduced greenhouse gas emissions that would otherwise could harm the environment,” Broyles said.

Nathan Jernigan, Directorate of Public Works director, said Broyles and the DPW Management team continue to lead the charge at Fort Polk in supporting the Army’s GHG reduction. 

“These eight solar electric vehicle charging stations, centrally purchased by Installation Management Command, allow us to get after the GSA EV fleet anticipated to arrive this fiscal year,” Jernigan said.

The solar charging stations are in place and in use as needed.