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US Army aims to use EVs and solar panels for net-zero emissions by 2050

Will adopt all electric non-tactical as well as tactical fleet.

US Army aims to use EVs and solar panels for net-zero emissions by 2050
Ripsaw M5 by Textron Systems Textron Systems

The U.S. Army has announced ambitious plans in its first-ever climate strategy document that was published recently that include reducing its carbon emissions by half by 2030 and achieving a net-zero status by 2050. 

In the foreword of the document, U.S. Army Secretary Christine Wormouth called climate change a reality that the American soldiers face today as they operate in extreme temperature environments, fight wildfires, and support hurricane recovery.  Wormouth went on to say that climate change has already taken a toll on supply chains, damaged infrastructure, and increased the risk American soldiers face. The U.S. Army intends to lead by example and use its buying power to create changes in the industry as the enterprise adapts to the threats of climate change. 

Among the items listed in its action plan, the U.S. Army wants to install a microgrid at all of its installations by the mid of the next decade and achieve carbon-free onsite power generation capabilities by the end of the decade. Last year, we covered how the Army is working towards using mobile nuclear reactors that would aid in reducing its carbon emissions.

As part of its immediate efforts to rein in carbon emissions, the U.S. Army wants to reduce its greenhouse gases by as much as 50 percent by 2032, using 2005 emissions as a baseline while incorporating installation-wide building controls by 2028, the document said.  

To address the massive consumption of fuel at its installations, the Army will replace its light non-tactical fleet with electric vehicles in the next five years while all non-tactical vehicles will be replaced by an electric fleet by 2035. 

With regards to acquisition and logistics, the document aims for a significant reduction of operational energy and water usage by 2035 as it adds mature electrification technologies to its platforms. It also aims for developing a purpose-built fleet of hybrid-drive tactical vehicles by 2035 while working on developing charging capabilities at all its facilities that can support an all-electric tactical fleet by 2050.

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An ambitious plan

Starting 2024, the U.S. Army will publish best practices and climate change lessons every two years as it tries to reduce greenhouse emissions from its training programs by 2028. The Army will also introduce climate change topics in its workforce training programs no later than 2028, such that all operational and strategic exercises conducted after this period include climate change risks and threat considerations. This is to ensure that by 2035, all Army personnel in strategic headquarters have advanced credentials in climate change topics, the document said.

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