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NEWS | Feb. 15, 2022

Army Reserve Launches Electric Vehicle Pilot Program

By Ashley Bradford, Army Reserve Installation Management Directorate Office of the Chief, Army Reserve

As climate change and near-peer adversary innovations demand the Army diversify energy sources, the Army Reserve is focused on increasing energy efficiency and resilience. Recently, a multi-phase infrastructure acquisition plan launched to pilot an electric vehicle (EV) program and transition non-tactical vehicles (NTV) to an all Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV) and Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV) fleet. This will enable the Army Reserve to meet Executive Order 14057 (Catalyzing Clean Energy Industries and Jobs Through Federal Sustainability) to have 100% zero emission vehicles by the end of FY27.

“The Army Reserve EV pilot program will install 27 Level 2 EV charging stations with multiple charging ports/adapters at three Army Reserve facilities located in Washington and California,” explained Laura Pirtle, Services Branch chief, Sustainment and Resiliency Division, Army Reserve Installation Management Directorate. “Nearly 60 additional BEVs and/or PEHVs will be added to these sites and will be acquired through the General Service Administration’s Customer Acquisitions Module process. By utilizing a phased acquisition rollout and the lessons learned in the pilot program, the Army Reserve will be able to maximize collaboration with personnel across the enterprise, adjust the course as needed, and leverage a wider aperture of expertise.”

The Phase 1 Army Reserve EV pilot program will conclude in FY23. Phase 2 will add 96 vehicles to 9 facilities, Phase 3 will more widely rollout 934 vehicles to 101 facilities, and Phase 4 will add 962 vehicles at the remaining 650 facilities. The future all-electric Army Reserve NTV fleet will include over 2,000 vehicles at 763 total facilities.

The transition to EVs is one of many projects supporting the Army Reserve’s focus on increasing energy resilience. In FY21, the Army Reserve increased renewable energy production by 36% compared to FY20 and broke ground on two multi-million dollar microgrid projects in California. Additionally, the 9th Mission Support Command put into operation its first fully-functioning energy microgrid at Pele U.S. Army Reserve Center located on Tutuila Island, American Samoa.

“While technological complexities make transitioning to tactical EVs on the battlefield many years away, we can leverage commercial success now to reduce NTV fuel consumption and emissions,” added Pirtle. “While access to power grids on the battlefield are not an option, we can easily equip our installations and sites with charging stations for government vehicles. And while these charging stations will not be for use by privately-owned vehicles, we are hopeful to see Level 3 charging stations installed at federal facilities for privately-owned vehicles in the future.” Pirtle, along with the U.S. Army Reserve Command NTV Team, will continue to lean forward and convert the Army Reserve fleet into the future.