Friday, March 18, 2011

The US Military Agencies Non-Tactical Vehicles

This post is about the statistics on the fuel use and vehicle characteristics of the US military agencies’ fleet vehicles. These vehicles are non-tactical vehicles (NTV) used as passenger cars, vans, SUVs, trucks, buses, ambulances etc.

The following statistics are derived from the GSA's Federal Fleet Reports.[1] The latest report for Fiscal Year 2010 is already available: download.

In FY2010, the US military services have had 197,477 vehicles in their inventory. Slightly more than half of that total is trucks, and the majority of the rest is passenger vehicles.
DoD’s potential to displace petroleum based fuels with biofuels is limited to non-tactical vehicles. DoD has done a good job increasing the number of vehicles capable of using biofuels in its NTV fleet.

Of the nearly 200,000 NTVs, some 44% run on gasoline and almost 30% were capable of using E85. Diesel vehicle’s share is about 23%.

The US Army announced (Army Announces Historic Electric Vehicle Lease) in January 2009 that it plans to lease 4000 neighborhood electric vehicles (NEVs) until the end of 2011, which will constitute the largest acquisition of electric vehicles not only in the US but probably in the world. They will be used on Army bases for passenger transport, security patrol, and maintenance and delivery services. They are hoped to reduce the Army’s fuel consumption by almost 2 million gallons per year.
Did you know that the US federal agencies have had a total of 412 Limousines? The Military Agencies have 19 of them. Of these 19, only one belongs to defense agencies (I assume for the Secretary of Defense) and 18 belong to the Department of Army. None of the other military services have Limousines. Why is that? I have no idea!
In FY2010, fuel use in military non-tactical vehicles was over 100 million gallons of gasoline equivalent. To be exact, 102,296,168 gasoline gallon equivalent, the second highest level in the past decade. This amount represents a quarter of total fuel consumed by the US Federal fleet.

With its 72 percent share, gasoline is the most consumed fuel in military non-tactical vehicles. Gasoline is followed by Diesel. What this means is that, despite all these biofuels and alternative fuels hype, conventional oil products remain to account for more than 92% of the total fuel consumption in NTV. Share of Biodiesel (B-20) is 5% and Ethanol/E85 is 2%. The strange jump in 2009 is LPG. All the other alternative fuels (compressed natural gas, electric, CNG, and hydrogen) make up the rest, 0.2%.
The largest fuel consumer in non-tactical vehicles is the Department of Army, accounting for half of total fuel use in all military NTV. Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps respectively follow the Army.
Naturally you would assume that the same order would follow as far as the fuel costs are concerned. Well, not exactly. Look at the chart below. It shows unit fuel cost by military agencies. Look at the Navy. Isn’t it strange that the Navy’s unit fuel cost for gasoline and diesel is nearly half of those of the other military agencies? Again, I don’t know the reason.

I know that the Secretary of the Navy, Ray Mabus, has been signing several cooperation agreements lately. (It is difficult to follow him. A paparazzi would get really tired.) Did Mr Mabus sign an agreement for cheap fuel that we are not aware of?
Although Army clear documents the Management and Use of Non- Tactical Vehicles I am not aware of any ambitious Army goal to cut the fuel use in these vehicles. The Department of the Navy, however, targets to reduce petroleum use in NTV by 50% by 2015.
Again, well done Navy!

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At 2:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

American military officers overwhelmingly prefer SUVs to limos.

I will bet a mango lassi that the Army's 18 limousines all belong to the White House Transportation Agency. They are part of the the White House Military Office
and are used to ferry around dignitaries. As such, I wouldn't consider these limos an extravagance, since they really support the White House, not the Army. This is not to say that there is not rampant waste elsewhere in the fleet
+1 to GSA for transparency. Good post.



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