By Ms. Kathy Anderson (AMC)October 2, 2012
As more electric vehicles are becoming a common sight on some military bases as the Department of Defense adds road-capable electric cars such as the Chevy Volt to their fleet, Tooele Army Depot (TEAD) was selected to receive one of the first energy efficient electric cars within the Army Materiel Command (AMC).
Chevrolet has taken an aggressive tactic to move units of its revolutionary Volt, selling a fair number to government agencies across the country. Through Headquarters, AMC, funding process, the GSA Utah Fleet Management Center was able to deliver the first of two 2013 Chevy Volt hatchbacks, to the Depot on Oct 1.
"Electric vehicles fit in well with the TEAD strategy to achieve Net Zero energy use," said Tom Turner, TEAD Garrison Manager. Turner also stated that most vehicle use on the Depot is for short distances, well within the range of the battery on the new Chevy Volt. "Batteries can be recharged at night when TEAD's electrical usage is the lowest and utilize excess electricity generation from the wind turbine."
The modernized 2013 Chevy Volt offers a 12-volt battery that has approximately 40 miles of life before needing to be recharged. The Volt also features a "Hold" driving mode that allows one to conserve the battery power for optimal efficiency. For those that have long commutes -- and might want to let the gasoline-powered generator do its work on the highway while saving the electrical vehicle juice for around town. The Volt averages approximately 38 miles per gallon of gasoline.
So, imagine only going to the gas station to fill up once a month. Fact is, Volt drivers who charge regularly are averaging 900 miles or about a month between gasoline fill-ups.
The environmental impact of these electric cars is overwhelming. The current hybrid electric vehicles reduce petroleum consumption under certain circumstances, compared to otherwise similar conventional vehicles, primarily by using three mechanisms; reducing wasted energy during idle/low output, generally by turning the internal combustion engine (ICE) off; recapturing waste energy (i.e., regenerative braking); and reducing the size and power of the smaller ICE, and inefficiencies from under-utilization, by using the added power from the electric motor to compensate for the loss in peak power output from the ICE.
The Volt sells for approximately $40,000, but it's eligible for a $7,500 federal tax credit. It takes 10 hours to charge through a 110-volt outlet and four hours at 240-volts. The cost is about $1.50 per charge.
To power the electric vehicles, the Depot will be installing quick charging points at two identified areas.