NEWS | Oct. 24, 2019

Colorado Department of Military and Veterans Affairs transitions to zero emission vehicles

By Tech. Sgt. Chance Johnson, Colorado National Guard Public Affairs CONG, TAG

As part of Gov. Jared Polis’ initiatives related to Greening Government and resource conservation, the Colorado Department of Military and Veterans Affairs is gradually replacing its traditional fleet of gas vehicles with zero emission vehicles.

“The Environmental Branch exists to develop and foster an ethic within the department,” Mark Hague, chief of the Environmental Branch for the Colorado DMVA, said. “That takes us beyond compliance to sustainability and a greener government through minimization of impacts and total ownership cost of department systems, materials, facilities and operations. With this in mind, going with ZEV’s was an easy choice.”

In July, the DMVA acquired two ZEVs, both Chevrolet Bolt all-electric vehicles, for its fleet service. The DMVA is one of three state agencies to adopt the ZEVs this year.

According to data provided by the DMVA’s Environmental Branch, the Bolt’s batteries have a 238-mile travel range when fully charged and are expected to operate at a performance level of 109 miles-per-gallon of gasoline. Additionally, the benefit from efficient conservation of energy and life-cycle cost savings, ZEVs reduce negative environmental and health impacts when compared to traditional gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles.

DMVA staff will travel 20,000 miles annually with the new ZEVs, saving taxpayers $2,657 in fuel costs and avoiding tailpipe emissions of 9,213 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent greenhouse gas, Hague said.

“Enhanced mission readiness is the desired outcome for the change in fleet,” Hague said, “We’ve invested in developing an infrastructure to support cleaner, zero emission vehicles, and we’ve expanded our sustainability and resiliency initiatives.”

The DMVA’s decision to replace traditional fleet vehicles with ZEVs is not yet on a by-installation basis but “supports several recent state and federal executive orders related to Greening Government and resource conservation,” Hague said.

The ZEVs are well-suited for the headquarters mission, with 75 percent of DMVA facilities residing within a 100-mile range of the fleet motor pool.

Expanding beyond the needs of the DMVA, Hague said this energy-saving initiative is “just the start while the federal General Services Administration and State Fleet Managers look at transforming the fleet and introducing more ZEVs.”

As the GSA replaces its fleet of sedans, more electric-powered vehicles will become available to department employees.

“When the Colorado National Guard adopts more ZEVs and installs charging stations at their readiness centers, we will further enhance our commitment to a sustainable and resilient military force,” Hague said.