The US Army is looking to field an all-electric fleet of light-duty non-tactical vehicles by 2027 to reduce carbon emissions as part of its Climate Strategy, aiming to slash emissions in half by 2030 and reach net-zero emissions by 2050.
In response to President Joe Biden’s executive order calling on government agencies to mitigate climate change, the army plans to replace its non-combat vehicles such as passenger cars, utility vehicles, trucks, vans, and buses with an electric fleet.
It also wants to field hybrid tactical vehicles by 2035 and fully electric tactical vehicles by 2050.
The military also plans to install an electric microgrid to run vehicles on all of its installations and include climate change threat mitigation into its land management decisions.
According to Army Secretary Christine Wormuth, the service needs to “purposefully pursue” greenhouse gas mitigation strategies to reduce climate-related risks to soldiers and their families.
“The time to address climate change is now,” Wormuth explained in a press release. “The effects of climate change have taken a toll on supply chains, damaged our infrastructure, and increased risks to Army soldiers and families due to natural disasters and extreme weather.”
Army Installations, Energy, and Environment acting assistant secretary Paul Farnan told Military.com on Wednesday that the service has already begun phasing out fuel-burning vehicles.
In September 2021, a mandate was issued ordering that all new vehicle leases, lease renewals, and purchases for the Army Materiel Command must prioritize all-electric vehicles.
Hybrid and conventional gas vehicles are only allowed when electric solutions are not commercially available.
Success ‘Will Depend’ on Auto Industry
Speaking at an event at Wayne State University in November, US Deputy Secretary Of Defense Kathleen Hicks said that addressing the climate crisis is a top policy priority of the Biden administration.
She stated that the department is committed to meeting the challenge by making significant changes in the use of energy and increasing investments in clean energy technologies.
“Currently, the Department of Defense has about 170,000 non-tactical vehicles — the cars and trucks we use on our bases,” Hicks noted. “Our success in transitioning this massive fleet to zero emissions, most of which will be electric, will depend on America’s auto industry and workers right here in Detroit.”
Detroit-based automotive manufacturer General Motors has committed to investing $35 billion in advanced vehicle technologies, which include power and propulsion systems for electric vehicles.
The company plans to have around 30 electric vehicles on the market by 2035.