Ford has completed the first delivery of electric pickups to the U.S. Army as the military looks to transition away from gas-powered vehicles.
The car manufacturer dropped off 25 F-150 Lightning trucks at Fort Carson in Colorado, where the trucks will be used for expanding and maintaining the base. While the first batch is small, Ford expects to build many more electric pickups for the Army as the U.S. military begins to replace its gas-powered work fleet with battery-powered units, a transition expected to take four more years. Prior to the delivery, the Army had apparently purchased one other Lightning for testing purposes in September of last year.
The move is part of a broader plan undertaken by the Department of Defense to make the armed forces carbon-neutral by 2050. The Army’s climate strategy notes that climate change poses security threats to the U.S. if left unaddressed: “For the foreseeable future, climate impacts will disrupt Army activities, displace individuals and communities and increase the frequency of crisis deployments.” The policy instructs the military to “act decisively and urgently to address the risks associated with all these effects.” While the goals outlined in the strategy will be costly to enact, the military does stand to gain from reducing its reliance on fossil fuels. Speaking to The Gazette, Matthew Wallin, an executive at American Security Project, remarked that soldiers are frequently killed while transporting gas, a task which could potentially be eliminated by electric vehicles.
The arrival of the electric pickups punctuates the intensifying conflict between the Biden Administration and GOP lawmakers over the nation’s environmental policies. Detractors of the President’s climate strategy have argued that it is too ambitious to be met in the targeted timeline without hurting the economy. Critics have also stressed the range and infrastructure limitations associated with current generations of EVs, two issues that make them less efficient for military use. Nevertheless, the Army is now officially, albeit ironically, on its way to becoming more environmentally conscious.