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NEWS | Feb. 14, 2024

Army Reserve Launches Site Assessments Project, Master Plan for Electric Vehicle Charging Facilities and Support Equipment

By Ashley Bradford Army Reserve Installation Management Directorate

As electric vehicle (EV) fleet needs are planned at Army Reserve Centers (ARCs) across America, the Army Reserve Installation Management Directorate (ARIMD) has launched a master planning initiative with support from the U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville. The planning effort includes multiple site assessments to bridge the gap between planned EV fleets and the required charging infrastructure to support it. The site assessments, managed by Huntsville Center, will provide data into fiscal year 2025 and aid Army Reserve Readiness Divisions (RDs) and the Mission Support Command to make better informed decisions when selecting and installing EV chargers and supply equipment. 

“We’ve been collaborating with Huntsville Center and Army Reserve Energy Managers at each RD and the MSC to gather requirements, targets, and desired end states,” explained Joseph Foriska Jr., who serves as a contract Program Manager for ARIMD. “Contractors will spend a week on-site at each RD Headquarters to conduct virtual site assessments. They’ll also be making physical visits to select ARCs to collect electrical infrastructure data for further evaluation.”

The site assessments and subsequent data evaluation are critical components of the project validation process and must be completed before executing EV projects. “Our planned EV fleet management is the base factor,” elaborated Foriska Jr. “Combining that factor with the existing electrical infrastructure data, such as transformer sizes, the capacity of incoming feeders, building panel and subpanel capacities for expansion, etc., will help in the planning process now and in the future. It will also inform immediate upgrades as well as predictive maintenance. We simply can’t make uninformed assumptions; we need to plan for the near and long term as we transition to a 100% zero emission non-tactical vehicle fleet.”

Draft data will immediately flow to ARIMD and further collaboration between RD and MSC Energy Managers will continue to determine optimal projects that meet EV requirements and increase efficiency while balancing affordability. “These site assessments and ultimately, our master plan, will directly enable our Commands to meet zero emission vehicle goals. We want our leaders to have the best possible plans in place that support the total rollout of over 2,800 vehicles at over 760 Army Reserve locations,” added Foriska Jr.

The rollout of EV chargers at Army Reserve-funded installations are already underway. Fort Buchanan, Puerto Rico has 15 charging stations, and Fort McCoy, Wisconsin has four charging stations. Additionally, the Army Reserve partnered with the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) last year to pilot seven dual-port EV chargers at Parks Reserve Forces Training Area in Dublin, CA, and three more at the 63rd RD Headquarters in Mountain View, CA. The pilot is also influencing the Army Reserve’s holistic plan. DIU will measure usage, uptime, vehicle types (i.e. personal and government), wait times, and mean time to repair. The pilot is also evaluating “Charging-as-a-Service”, meaning personal charging revenues defray Department of Defense infrastructure investments.

“Funding has been identified to support this effort and we are excited to earmark it for specific EV projects,” shared Foriska Jr. “We are not building a plan to sit on a shelf. This will be actionable thanks to the confidence the data will provide us. The Army Reserve will be ready to implement the right solution for any given site as we modernize to meet future mission requirements.”