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C. Todd Lopez
Army News Service
WASHINGTON – The Army accepted its first six “neighborhood electric vehicles” during a ceremony Jan. 12 at Fort Myer, Va. Delivery of the six tiny battery-powered NEVs, each about the size of a golf cart, represents the beginning of a leasing action by the Army to obtain more than 4,000 of the vehicles.
Secretary of the Army Pete Geren said the service will receive a total of 800 NEVs in 2009, and an additional 1,600 of the vehicles in both 2010 and 2011.
The vehicles will help the Army save money in both vehicle purchases and in fuel savings, he said. Though there will be a small cost associated with installing infrastructure to charge the vehicles – about $800,000 total – that cost will be eclipsed by the savings, he said.
“It will be offset multiple times by the reduction and consumption of 11.5 million gallons of gasoline over the six-year life of these vehicles,” Geren said. “And this acquisition of 4,000 NEVs will allow the Army to meet 42 percent of the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act requirement for a 2 percent annual petroleum consumption reduction through 2015.”
The Army’s acquisition of the NEVs constitutes not just the largest acquisition of electric vehicles for the military, but also the largest acquisition of electric vehicles in the United States, Geren said. “The Army is committed to substantially reducing the greenhouse gas emissions through our acquisition of Neighborhood Electric Vehicles,” Geren said. “This historic acquisition will constitute the largest acquisition of electric vehicles not just in the military, but in the entire country.”
The acquisition of the NEVs also helps the Army “go green” by preventing the release of some 218.5 million pounds of carbon dioxide into the environment, the secretary said. The initial contract for 4,000 leased NEVs will cost less than the gasoline-powered vehicles they replace – $3,300 less than a gasoline powered sedan.