Los Angeles Air Force Base Goes 100% Electric Vehicles

Air Force officials unveiled a plan on Wednesday to establish Los Angeles Air Force Base as the first federal facility to replace 100% of its general purpose fleet with electric vehicles.

All Air Force-owned and leased general purpose fleet vehicles on the base will be replaced with EVs. There are approximately 40 eligible vehicles, ranging from passenger sedans to two-ton trucks and shuttle buses. Vehicles used for force protection, tactical and emergency response vehicles are exempt. 

The replacement PEVs include fully-electric, plug-in hybrid electric, and extended range electric vehicles.

The Department of Defense (DOD) sees this as the first step in its  large-scale integration of EVs. 

Initial planning for the installation of charging infrastructure at Los Angeles AFB is already underway, and the vehicles could be in place as soon as January 2012. 

"With gas prices rising and the cost of batteries falling, now is the time to move toward electric vehicles," says Under Secretary of the Air Force Erin Conaton. "The 100% Electric Vehicle Base initiative is a critical first step in this direction and will help guide the way for broader fleet electrification."

"(Los Angeles) Air Force Base will serve as a model for future efforts to bring EVs into the Air Force and DOD," says Camron Gorguinpour, Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Installations, Environment and Logistics.

According to Gorguinpour, the base was selected because it has a small, diverse general purpose vehicle fleet that will lessen operational risks and maximize value to the base Energy Management Program.

Los Angeles AFB is continuing to expand its use of solar energy – the new electric vehicles may be used to support and optimize the base’s solar infrastructure by providing battery capacity to store solar-generated electricity.

The Air Force and DOD are actively exploring the operation and financial feasibility of allowing vehicles to return stored electricity to the grid, when needed.

"Worldwide, the DOD has about 200,000 vehicles in its fleet, so there’s a whole lot of opportunity for us to look at creative ways to advance EVs and other emerging technologies," Gorguinpour says.

Source: Staff Sgt. Richard Williams, Air Force Public Affairs

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Comments on “”

  1. JP

    Plug in hybrids and “extended range EV’s” are the same thing, and neither one is 100% electric. Other than that it’s a positive move in the right direction.

  2. pdrhall

    Excellent initiative, however the EV’s need to derive there electrical power from truly clean sources, vs. the somewhat ‘dirty’ national grid system.

    Please see http://www.delugeinc.com for a technology that enables perfectly clean electricity to be generated from solar-thermal energy, perhaps backed up by natural gas.
    This technology offers a solution for the base to be independent from the national/state electrical grid.


  3. mike

    This is great news. I’d love to know also if there are any plans to make the charging stations at the base available to EV drivers who work there or visit.

    @JP: All extended range EVs (EREVs) are plug-in hybrids (PHEVs), but not all PHEVs are EREVs. The distinction is that in an EREV like the Volt there is no mechanical linkage from the engine to the wheels, and the vehicle can operate at all speeds with the engine off, while in other PHEVs the engine may drive the wheels directly as well as generate electricity, as in the Prius.

    @pdrhall: First off, the base gets a sizable chunk of its power from a massive solar array. Regardless, EVs don’t *need* to derive power from clean sources to be superior to traditional ICE cars. Even with 100% coal as the input (which never happens, especially not in the LA area), the increased efficiency of EVs makes them more economical and environmentally friendly. And especially important from the AF perspective is that virtually all sources of electricity are domestic, while oil is mostly imported, and much of that from unstable or potentially unstable foreign governments.


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