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US Military Adopting Electric Vehicles as Backup Plan


Smith Newton Stake Bed Electric VehicleWhile most might consider electric vehicles an example of extreme green action, there could also be a strategic benefit to having a fleet of electric vehicles on military base. Military systems, to allow for operation in varying circumstances, including disaster situations, rely on redundant systems.

Backup computers take over when main systems fail, and a military base may have more than one source of power in case one fails. Electric vehicles could play an important part in that backup system.

In Colorado, the Fort Carson Army base will be experimenting with a $7 million microgrid project to test the integration of off-the-grid power supply scenarios. The SPIDERS [Smart Power Infrastructure Display for Energy Reliability and Security] project includes connections to the Colorado power grid as well as the Army’s largest on-base solar installation.

Backup diesel generators typify the backups on an Army base such as Fort Carson, and an additional fleet of electric vehicles will fill out the backup system.

The idea is, that the power in the electric vehicles, such as the Smith electric van, can also be used as an additional backup power supply for military installations. The multiple redundant power systems could keep Fort Carson up and running effectively for days or even months, depending on fuel supplies and solar load.

In the event of a disaster, Army reserves could effectively deploy to affected areas, and strategically speaking, Fort Carson could remain at full alert even if the grid is down.

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