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GSA Fleet assists Department of Defense with sustainability efforts at Los Angeles Air Force Base

Onlookers check out the new hybrid vehicles at the LA Air Force Base

Assistant Secretary for the Air Force for Installations, Environment and Energy, and others discuss the new green vehicles on base.

When the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Installations, Environment, and Energy recently unveiled the service’s first electric, non-tactical fleet at the Los Angeles Air Force Base (LA AFB) in Southern California, GSA was there to hand them the keys.

By presidential order, all new, light-duty military vehicles must run on alternative fuels (including electricity) by December 2015. The Department of Defense (DoD) also issued a directive on plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs, both hybrid and all-electric) that further targets Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) as a key technology for development to improve energy security and efficiency at military installations.

GSA has been supporting this effort by procuring a portion of the base’s PEVs, including trucks, vans, and sedans, many of which are specifically V2G-capable. LA AFB is on schedule to be the first DoD facility to implement V2G technology as part of a cutting-edge, green-tech pilot project.

The V2G-capable vehicles can convey electric power both to and from the electrical grid, enabling the LA AFB to generate from its fleet an estimated 700 kilowatts (kW) of energy, which is enough to power 140 typical American homes. While enhancing grid reliability and power security, V2G energy going back to the grid also earns revenues that can be used to offset its electric bill cost. Berkeley scientists conservatively estimate revenues of $100 per month per vehicle.

Implementing V2G technology is a complex process and obtaining V2G-capable vehicles has been cited by the LA project team as one of its biggest challenges. GSA provided six plug-in electric sedans in the form of Chevrolet Volts and Ford CMax sedans and agreed to modify five Ford F-series trucks with an after-market plug-in Electric Vehicle Add-On System (EVAOS). Once a truck’s modifications are in place, a one-hour battery charge provides up to 30 miles of all-electric driving, or 60 miles in hybrid mode (with double the fuel economy of an unmodified vehicle). We’ve also signed an agreement with VIA motors as a fleet test partner for four electric vans that are loaned to GSA for a one year test period by the Air Force.

GSA offers DoD new vehicle technologies that are optimally fuel-efficient, and that provide long-term environmental benefits. It does this in alignment with our green fleet initiatives aimed at minimizing environmental impact, reducing petroleum consumption, and increasing alternative fuel use, especially in the form of electricity. By procuring these special vehicles for the V2G project, GSA directly supports the efforts of the DoD to make its military installations more sustainable and with our assistance DoD will be able to determine how and to what extent V2G technology can contribute to improved electrical distribution systems across the military and will, at the same time, generate revenues to reduce utility expenses.

Participating in the DoD V2G pilot at LA AFB positions GSA Fleet at the forefront, contributing to technological innovations that will make government more sustainable for years to come and it allows us to deliver great value and savings to our military customers.

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