This Army Live Blog Post was written by the Honorable Katherine Hammack, Assistant Secretary of the Armyfor Installations, Energy and Environment (ASA IE&E).
Last week, I attended the Military Day at the Washington Auto Show. The question may be asked: what does an auto show have to do with the United States Army? Well, the Army is one of the largest ground vehicle users in the world! What better place to go and see what the auto industry may have in store for us.
About half of our fleet is our tactical vehicles we use to actively serve and defend our nation. The other half, are the commercial and passenger vehicles used on our permanent posts. Of the second half, passenger vehicles comprise 46 percent of the fleet, 20 percent are light trucks. The balance, are special duty or special purpose vehicles such as fire engines or buses.
We are using fuel efficient technologies as never before, exploring new and emerging alternative fuels and buying more fuel efficient vehicles produced by industry. We have already achieved a 28.5 percent reduction in petroleum usage since 2005 and plan to reach a 30 percent reduction in petroleum usage in non-tactical vehicles by 2016.
We are investing in low speed electric vehicles, hybrid gas/electric vehicles, and plug-in electric vehicles. We are experimenting with hydrogen and fuel cell vehicles. We are right-sizing our fleet to ensure that the right vehicles are in the right place at the right time. Many times we are replacing HUMVEES that used to transit to training ranges, with light trucks that consume less fuel and have equivalent capacity.
We have only begun to convert our entire fleet to more efficient vehicles. Currently, almost half of the Army fleet consists of fuel efficient vehicles. We have tens-of-thousands of vehicles to go. However, it is the expertise, innovation, technology, and efficiencies developed by industry that will make this goal a mission success.
Today, the Army is focused on efficiencies, particularly Power and Energy. The power to run our bases, the energy to fuel our vehicles, generators, and the numerous devices used by today’s Soldier. There was once a time (in the not too distant past) when the Army considered fuel a cheap, available and inexhaustible commodity. That is no longer true.
The Army has joined with numerous partners, to include the automotive industry, in efforts to research, develop and deploy a variety of advanced technologies. For example, in July 2011 we joined with the Department of Energy and began a collaborative effort aimed at promoting the joint development of advanced vehicle technologies. The alliance placed new emphasis on developing advanced technologies that enable military ground vehicles to become significantly more energy efficient.
The Alliance’s mission is focused on leveraging industrial research and development among commercial automotive and defense ground vehicle manufacturers. Together we are collaborating on research into batteries, materials, drives, hybrid systems, advanced combustion and fuels for both the commercial and military marketplace.
Facts & Figures
- In July, 2011 the Department of Energy and the Department of the Army announced a new collaboration aimed at promoting the joint development of advanced vehicle technologies.
- This new agreement was designed to enhance national energy security and demonstrate the Federal Government’s leadership in transitioning America to a low-carbon economy.
- This new alliance includes auto industry members, has placed an emphasis on developing advanced technologies that enable ground vehicles to become significantly more energy efficient.
- This alliance accelerates the generation of inventive and creative energy-saving concepts that our Nation needs to achieve energy security.
- The Army has the second largest non-tactical vehicle fleet in the Federal Government
- In the last two years alone, the Army has reduced it petroleum usage in non-tactical vehicles by 28.5 percent. This has been done through downsizing our fleet, rightsizing our vehicles for the job and deploying new, energy efficient technologies.
- Within this fleet we are utilizing electric and hybrid technologies, exploring new and emerging alternative fuels, and taking advantage of more fuel efficient internal combustion engines produced by industry with the aim of reducing both fuel and maintenance costs.
- The Army plans to reach a 30 percent reduction in petroleum usage in non-tactical vehicles by 2016, four years before the mandated date.
- The Army is working to convert its entire fleet to more efficient vehicles.
- Currently, more than 44 percent of the Army fleet have been replaced with more fuel efficient vehicles.
- The Army’s NTV fleet is 45.9 percent passenger, 20.3 percent light truck and 33.8 percent special duty/purpose vehicles. More than 85 percent of these vehicles are leased through the General Services Administration (GSA).