U.S. Airforce embraces e-mobility


To help achieve 100% carbon-free electricity by 2030, the U.S. Air Force is increasingly using electric vehicles for its non-tactical transportation. Shoals Technologies Group announced that its Fuel by Shoals e-mobility solution will be deployed by the Air Force, supporting an EV charging-as-a-service (CaaS) pilot project provided by Leidos.

Leidos plans to design and implement a modern, resilient, scalable and secure power infrastructure solution to charge the Air Force’s fleet of non-tactical vehicles at multiple installations across the continental United States.

Leidos plans to integrate ChargePoint EV chargers with the Fuel by Shoals solution to enable the Air Force to transition its fleet of more than 49,000 non-tactical vehicles to zero-emissions using EV CaaS. Transitioning the Air Force’s fleet to zero emissions vehicles is a key component of the Air Force Climate Action Plan, which aims to achieve not only 100% carbon-free electricity on a net annual basis by fiscal 2030, but net-zero emissions at all Air Force facilities by fiscal 2046.

“This innovation pilot seeks to deploy cutting-edge private sector technologies to achieve the Air Force’s electrification goals,” said Paul Grimes, Leidos’ vice president for energy infrastructure. “We’re excited to work with Shoals and incorporate their eMobility solution to ensure quality and cost-efficiency for this contract.”

Fuel by Shoals is an EV charging infrastructure solution that has above-ground raceways and power stations designed to meet the efficiency and resiliency needs of each location, the company reports. Its solution uses analytics and engineering to mitigate the impact on local installation grids.

“As a ‘Made in Tennessee’ company, we are incredibly proud to work with Leidos on this first-of-its-kind deployment for U.S. Air Force,” said Jeff Tolnar, president of Shoals. “Fuel by Shoals is the ideal solution to cost-effectively support the Air Force’s Climate Action Plan and we are excited to play a role in helping the Air Force achieve their net-zero goals.”

The need for EV charging stations accelerated in the United States after President Biden set a goal of building out a national network of 500,000 chargers. The plan got an added boost with the announced funding to accelerate the creation of zero-emission vehicle corridors that expand the nation’s EV charging infrastructure. In a recent report, Wood Mackenzie forecast that the market for public charging networks in North America will grow rapidly by 2050.

Leidos, based in Reston, Virginia, is an IT specialist providing solutions for the defense industry, among others. Its defense solutions include enterprise and mission IT, large-scale intelligence systems, command and control, geospatial and data analytics, cybersecurity, logistics, training, and intelligence analysis and operations support.

Shoals Technologies Group, based in Portland, Tennessee,  is a provider of electrical balance of system solutions and components for solar, battery storage and EV charging applications. The company reports that its solutions are deployed on over 62 GW of solar systems globally.

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