The Air Force Goes Electric

The Air Force plans to ditch many of the gas-guzzling cars and trucks it owns and leases at its base in Los Angeles and replace them with plug-in electric vehicles, service leaders said in a statement last week.

The move, which could be completed as soon as January, would make the Los Angeles Air Force Base the first federal facility to replace 100 percent of its general-purpose fleet with electric vehicles. Emergency-response and tactical vehicles are exempt from the plan.

"With gas prices rising and the cost of batteries falling, now is the time to move toward electric vehicles," said undersecretary of the Air Force Erin Conaton. She said the initiative, which is part of a wide-ranging Defense plan to integrate more plug-in electric vehicles into operations at military facilities, "will guide the way for broader fleet electrification."

About 40 vehicles, including two-ton trucks and shuttle buses, will be replaced with fully-electric, plug-in hybrid electric and extended-range electric vehicles.

Camron Gorguinpour, special assistant to the assistant secretary for installations, environment and logistics, said the Los Angeles facility was selected as the test location for the initiative because it has a small but diverse vehicle fleet and the base is expanding its use of solar power, making it an ideal place to demonstrate a variety of vehicle-to-grid technologies.

Whether the folks at Los Angeles Air Force Base get one of these for their fleet is an open question. Plug In America's Formula Hybrid is a ride even Billy Mitchell could appreciate.