WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) recently presented plans from its internal Plug-In Electric Vehicle (PEV) program as part of the GoElectricDrive webinars organized for Electric Drive Transportation Association (EDTA) members. DOD has developed a pilot PEV program to develop its own knowledge base and skills to then implement PEVs within non-tactical fleets on a larger scale, according to the EDTA.

The program currently explores the related benefits of PEV technology, including revenue generation. The DOD has requested submissions from manufacturers under strict limitations. To be considered as a prospective vehicle within a fleet, vehicles must adhere to the program’s overall mission. Additional financial considerations include the total cost of ownership of both the vehicles and the infrastructure, and the vehicles must be acquired at cost parity with conventional internal combustion-engine vehicles.

DOD is looking at several strategies to improve the program’s financial value. First, the program seeks to identify vehicle segments where DOD operates a significant amount of vehicles on the market — sectors in which price-efficient PEVs would lower cost. Additionally, DOD is right-sizing the battery packs so vehicle investments correspond to operational needs. DOD is also looking at the revenue generation opportunities that come from vehicle-to-grid technology. And, lastly, DOD hopes to improve costs with careful infrastructure planning.

Looking forward, the DOD plans to continue the implementation of extensive PEV-related analyses. Each service branch of the department has independent alternate-fuel vehicle plans that include PEVs. At the end of the analysis, each service will determine the extent of PEV implementation into its fleets.