President Barack Obama’s energy czar, Carol Browner, made a quick visit to Detroit this week to discuss research and development in the auto industry. One thing that became apparent during her short stay in the Motor City, the U.S. Department of Defense is eager to use all-electric vehicles in the future.
Concern over whether electric Vehicles can actually satisfy consumers has hung over the development of electric vehicles for decades. However, one influential consumer, the U.S. Army, has seen enough and heard enough to emerge as a huge EV fan.
It’s seems even the DOD is eager to dump its Hummer franchise.
Grace Bochenek, director of the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering, center told Browner the goal right now is to move to use nothing but electric vehicles for ground operations in the future. “We hope to be driving all-electric vehicles by 2025,” she said. Driving the move to electric vehicles is cost, she said.
The DOD pays an enormous bill for petroleum every year and its continues to increase as the Humvees (High-Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles) and MRAPS (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected), the heavy duty patrol vehicles that protect soldiers from improvised explosive devices, only get about three miles per gallon, she said. With such poor range, the cost and protection of fuel supplies is a major issue for combat forces.
The Army needs to do better, she said.