The United States military is the largest consumer of energy and fossil fuels on the planet, and consumes more oil than all but 35 entire countries. The security, logistical, and economic challenges that are inherent in acquiring fossil fuels from regions typically unstable and inimical to U.S. interests, and delivering that fuel to forces deployed in hostile and remote territories, are extraordinary, and as a result, the American military is investing heavily in alternative fuels development and alternative drive vehicles (ADVs). According to a new report from Navigant Research, U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) spending on ADVs will surpass $900 million by 2020, more than doubling from $436 million in 2013.
“The Department of Defense has become one of the largest supporters of alternative drive vehicles, and plans to acquire only ADVs for its light duty non-tactical vehicle fleet from the end of 2015 onward,” Scott Shepard, research analyst at Navigant Research, said. “By 2020, the Pentagon will have acquired more than 155,000 ADVs, with expected savings of more than $92 million in annual fuel costs.”
Although 55 percent of the DOD’s vehicle fleet can already run on alternative fuels, the General Services Administration reports that gasoline still accounts for almost 70 percent of the non-tactical fleet’s fuel consumption. The military’s approach to reducing fossil fuel consumption from non-tactical operations includes acquiring increasing numbers of biodiesel- and ethanol- capable vehicles, as well as hybrid electric and plug-in vehicles. Additionally, the study finds, the military is fast tracking infrastructure development for refueling and recharging ADVs.
The report, “Alternative Drive Vehicles for Military Applications”, examines the market for alternative drive vehicles for tactical and non-tactical military fleets. Market drivers and barriers are analyzed in detail, and key industry players are profiled. Market forecasts for vehicles and fuel consumption, along with fuel cost savings, extend through 2020.