FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. — Anyone driving around the post these days can spot one fairly quickly and easily, and there seem to be more and more every day. Electric vehicles are not the future – they are here – and not just private vehicles.
Government-owned vehicles are also going electric — Fort Leonard Wood received two electric vehicles last month, with more on the way.
The electric pickup trucks in the Logistics Readiness Center inventory are part of the Army’s latest directive to electrify its fleet of non-tactical vehicles. Executive Order 14057 – Catalyzing Clean Energy Industries and Jobs Through Federal Sustainability – requires the Department of Defense to transition its non-tactical vehicles to a 100% zero-emissions vehicle fleet, including 100% of light-duty vehicle acquisitions. by 2027, and 100% medium and heavy vehicle acquisitions by 2035, said Allen Simpson, facility energy manager at the Public Works Branch.
Fort Leonard Wood maintains approximately 540 vehicles that meet the definition of non-tactical vehicles, and DPW is looking at ways to keep these vehicles charged and ready for use every day.
“DPW’s responsibility is to ensure charging stations are installed before EVs arrive,” he said. “We have to be ahead of the demand for them.”
Due to the low mileage GOVs are typically driven – making it less likely they will need to be recharged every day – Simpson said the plan will most likely involve having one charging station for four to six vehicles, and he expects to see the first seven charging stations operational within a month or two.
To achieve the goal of installing so many stations here, Simpson said DPW used a unique solution. They privatize the ownership of the charging stations within the framework of the already existing electricity distribution contract, which has several advantages.
“First, we save on the labor involved in managing procurement, operations and maintenance, and we don’t have to worry about lifecycle replacements” , did he declare. “We’ll just pay a monthly fee, just like we do for maintenance of our other utility distribution systems.”
The facility preparations for an electrified fleet of GOVs – and the infrastructure to recharge them all – are just one part of a larger energy plan primarily focused on resilience and providing a cleaner and safer environment. more durable, Simpson said.
One way DPW is doing this is to work with the US Army Corps of Engineers to install two combined heat and power plants here, Simpson said.
The implementation of cogeneration, also known as cogeneration, increases energy efficiency by allowing heat that would normally be lost during electricity generation to be recovered to provide heating and/or cooling, thereby cuts costs, Simpson said.
“The efficiency comes from the fact that we capture the heat produced in this process and put that heat into a boiler room,” he said. “So we don’t have to buy this natural gas to heat the boilers. Natural gas compensates itself while we are able to produce our own electricity.
When complete, Simpson said the plants will give Fort Leonard Wood the ability to produce about 7% of its peak power demand.
Another more recent initiative is a collaboration between DPW and the USACE Prime Power School, which moved here from Fort Belvoir, Va., in 2010, and is dedicated to training service members to install, operate and maintain certain types of power plants.
Leaders from these agencies, along with other stakeholders, are working together to address energy resilience by exploring the possibility of utilizing USAPPS expertise and power generation capabilities should the facility ever experience an electric power crisis, Simpson said.
Chief Warrant Officer 5 Willie Gadsden, commanding officer and deputy commanding officer of USAPPS, said the Army’s top power generation specialists who graduated from the school are uniquely qualified to help.
“We have deep knowledge that could be gained quickly and efficiently after this particular issue,” he said. “It’s absolutely a great partnership.”
Simpson said these projects — and others — ultimately help prepare the Army.
“The goal is to develop and maintain programs and projects that provide each facility with the means to avoid or survive a public service emergency,” he said. “The expectation I have for Fort Leonard Wood is to prepare ourselves, so that we can adapt and recover without loss for any mission or support function.”