FORT LEE, Va. (Oct. 1, 2009) - The Army has recently acquired 502 Hybrid Electric Vehicles - eight of which are currently being used at Fort Lee.
The HEV combines a conventional propulsion system with a rechargeable storage system. This secondary system allows the vehicle to recharge itself while running.
"The hybrids run on electricity up to 35 mph and automatically switch over to gas. Since the maximum speed on most installations is 35 mph, this vehicle can operate at no cost to the government," said Bill Knight, Fort Lee Directorate of Logistics.
"I drove one of the hybrids to Penn State and arrived with a quarter of a tank of gas left. That was nearly 650 miles," said Knight.
The average hybrid gets nearly 40 miles per gallon, thus reducing fossil fuel consumption, lowering fuel costs and reducing greenhouse gases.
"Nothing is better than the hybrid. It is an awesome vehicle," said Knight.
The Fort Lee fleet includes four Ford Escapes and four Ford Fusion models, which are available for dispatch. The purchase of these non-tactical vehicles is in conjunction with the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. This act mandates that the Army reduce its annual consumption by two percent, reduce petroleum use by 20 percent and procure vehicles with low greenhouse emissions.
"The hybrid is the best vehicle on the road and meets environmental standards in accordance with Environmental Protection Agency guidelines," said Knight.
In the years to come, the Army will see a tremendous savings to the government and improvement in the reduction of greenhouse gases, said Knight.