use of petroleum on Military bases
12/09/02 - WASHINGTON -- The Air Force is
using less petroleum products in California now thanks to a donation by
a major automotive corporation.
The first of 112 electric vehicles donated by Global Electric Motorcars,
a subsidiary of DaimlerChrysler, were delivered to four California Air
Force installations in October.
The street-legal electric vehicles can be used in situations where a
lightweight sedan or pickup truck is normally used, said Lt. Col.
William Fisher, chief of the Air Force vehicle policy team here.
"They can be used to shuttle people around the base for
administrative duties and are perfect for use by a small civil engineer
or maintenance team," Fisher said. "You can put a tool box in
one of these vehicles with the bed on them, have a small bench stock
available, and roll out there and do repairs."
Many tasks do not require the larger vehicles available in the Air Force
vehicle inventory, according to Senior Master Sgt. Rex Curry,
superintendent of Air Force vehicle maintenance policy and procedures.
In the past, he said, Air Force members had no choice but to use larger
"In a lot of places, you have supply and administrative folks who
go to the military personnel flight and back to supply or to the base
service store to pick up supplies," Curry said. "That does not
require a quarter-ton or half-ton pickup. The idea (with the electric
vehicle) is that we get accustomed to these electric vehicles and reduce
our need to drive larger, petroleum-burning vehicles."
The zero-emission vehicles being used at Vandenberg, Edwards and Los
Angeles Air Force bases, as well as for Onizuka Air Force Station, are
in line with the Air Force's efforts to reduce use of petroleum
In accordance with the Energy Policy Act and Executive Order 13149,
signed by former President Clinton in April 2000, federal agencies are
required to acquire alternative-fuel vehicles and reduce the use of
petroleum products through the use of alternative fuels.
Fisher said the Air Force is responding to this order by using electric,
compressed natural gas, E-85 Flex-Fuel and bio-diesel vehicles.
"The time for alternative fuel use is here," Fisher said.
"There is a lot of stuff in industry going on to get us out of
petroleum-burning vehicles. In the next 10 to 15 years, you are going to
see some significant changes in how we transport ourselves, what
platforms we use to transport ourselves in and what engine technology we
use to transport ourselves."
The 112 electric vehicles are just a part of the Air Force's overall
effort to reduce dependence on petroleum products, Fisher said.
"This helps us to reduce petroleum consumption and helps displace
some of our less fuel-efficient vehicles," Fisher said. "In
the long run, we will reduce the amount of petroleum use on these bases.
We have to come to terms with this as a nation, because energy security
is a big issue."
Article by Staff Sgt. C. Todd Lopez
Air Force Print News
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