As part of its energy transition, the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) – an agency within the US Department of Defense (DoD) – has contracted the Fortune 500 tech company Leidos to provide Electric Vehicle Charging-as-a-Service (EVCaaS) infrastructure for non-tactical vehicles in the US Air Force (USAF).

Under this contract, the contractor will design and implement a modern, resilient, scalable and secure power infrastructure solution for Air Force bases across the continental US.

USAF climate mitigation efforts

Leidos’s energy solution will power more than 49,000 non-tactical vehicles; these are transportation units used to support and mobilise personnel and equipment for military missions.

This contract is the USAF’s latest effort in climate mitigation as part of its Climate Action Plan, published in October last year. In the document, the service says it will implement innovative solutions to reach certain goals, including working toward 100% carbon-pollution free electricity by FY2030 and 100% zero emission non-tactical vehicles by FY2035.

Other concurrent USAF initiatives include the development of a nuclear micro-reactor to power critical national security infrastructure at Eielson Air Base, Alaska, demonstrating a clean, reliable and resilient energy supply.

Leidos EVCaaS solution

Leidos’s EVCaaS contract takes the form of an Other Transaction prototype agreement whereby the DoD can streamline research and development in this prospective solution with prototypes to determine the future success of the concept.

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It is worth noting that the contracting authority, the DIU, was re-structured earlier this year as the commercial technology integrator now falls under the direct jurisdiction of the US Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III. This suggests that despite the DoD’s growing list of priorities on the world stage, climate mitigation retains some level of importance.

Some estimates indicate that between one and five percent of all global emissions could be attributed to the armed forces. This is equivalent to an annual 2.2bn metric tonnes, making the industry one of the world’s largest single contributors to greenhouse gas emissions.

The contractor will use its engineering expertise to integrate commercially available technology. Leidos selected ChargePoint, a leading provider of solutions for charging EVs, to support delivering these capabilities.

Leidos will also pilot a ground-based EV balance of systems capability supplied by Shoals, a leading provider for eMobility solutions. This approach minimises construction costs and schedule delays through secure and hardened above-ground raceways and power stations.

The solution meets the unique efficiency and resiliency needs of each installation location. It also leverages analytics and engineering to mitigate the impact on local installation grids.