This includes a grand total of 42 vehicles, and to make green pastures even greener, 36 of those vehicles will be vehicle-to-grid (V2G) capable, meaning they’ll be able to contribute energy to the California utility grid.
This historic move was made possible by an executive order signed by California Governor Jerry Brown in 2012.
Subsequently, California Independent System Operator Corporation (ISO), the main grid operator in the state, drafted a Vehicle-Grid Integration Road map in order to chase the governor’s target goal of 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) in California by 2025 (2).
Expansion of the Air Force’s PEV program will quickly be rolled out to other military installations, including Fort Hood in Texas, Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey, and Mountain View Army Reserve Center in California.
U.S. Military Conspires to Go Green
For all the flak the military receives about its destruction of natural resources and anti-environmental practices, the Air Force’s PEV program should come as a welcome relief to friends of planet earth. With major contaminants found at military bases all around the country, it’s high time the U.S. military clean up something beyond merely its act. Let the power grid be a good place to start.
According to a white paper published by McKenna Long & Aldridge (3), U.S. military facilities are guilty of:
–> Liquid chemical and industrial wastes buried in pits or lagoons
–> Ground and surface water contaminated with lead, trinitrotoluene (better known as TNT) and dinitrotoluene (the explosive precursor to TNT) (4)
–> Wastes generated from mustard gas manufacturing facilities and other chemical warfare agents, which are illegal according to international law (5)
–> Heavy metals disposed of improperly
–> Landfills and storage areas filled with waste solvents, oil and fuel, paint wastes, acids, caustics, cyanide, and more
–> Empty pesticide container waste dumpage
–> And plenty more
The military has gone to great pains to rectify many of these hazardous waste problems inflicted upon the environment and now it has decided to turn its attention to lowering automobile carbon emissions, kick starting its PEV initiative in California, which is known for having the most heavily polluted cities in the U.S. (6)
One of the biggest contributors to air pollution is smog, which contains unhealthy doses of ozone (7). Smog, of course, is formed in part by auto emissions, hence the reason the military is converting its vehicle fleets to PEVs.
What Are The Benefits of USAF’s V2G Program?
The Department of Defense published the results of a V2G Pilot Project with actual case studies of USAF vehicles equipped with V2G technology. (8) In one case study, the net savings of a V2G sedan over an ICE Sedan was $209/month based on normal business use during a Monday-Friday work week and an 8 a.m.-5 p.m. work day.
The V2G sedan was operated at 6 cents per mile while the ICE sedan held an operating cost of 14.5 cents per mile. While it cost more to lease the V2G sedan, its operating cost per mile coupled with the DoD’s ability to sell a part of its power generation back to the grid for partial value of its operating costs makes V2G much more beneficial to the military.
While the DoD is committed to exploring ways V2G technology can be implemented more widely, according to its own report, the biggest hurdle to realizing this is bureaucratic, not technological (8).
References & Image Credits:
(1) Armed With Science
(2) California Vehicle-Grid Integration (VGI) Roadmap
(3) Environmental Issues At Military Installations
(4) The Free Dictionary
(5) International Committee of the Red Cross
(6) 2014 State of the Air Report
(8) DoD V2G Pilot Project Overview
(9) Wikipedia: Army NEV