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Tinker’s Energy Action Month energizes innovation on base


Tinker Air Force Base energized the Air Force’s Energy Action Month with several special events Oct. 17-18, including individual vendors’ expos at Bldgs. 3001 and 9001, a ribbon-cutting celebrating the 10 new electric vehicle charging stations on base and an Electric Vehicle Ride & Drive for Team Tinker.

72nd Air Base Wing Vice Commander Col. Eddie Taylor addressed a crowd of Tinker AFB’s military and civilian employees, as well as the local and state dignitaries gathered, prior to cutting a ribbon acknowledging the electric charging stations recently installed northwest of Bldg. 400.

“This is one small step toward the goal of cutting our greenhouse emissions by 30 percent by 2025,” Taylor said. “If you think of the number of military bases we have all over the world, if every one of them took this step … you can imagine the impact it would have on our environment as well as overall Department of Defense savings.”

He then plugged an electric vehicle into one of the charging stations to the applause of the audience. The charging stations will be used to power Tinker AFB’s current electric vehicles and its future fleet. Representatives from OGE Energy Corp., ONEOK, the Association of Central Oklahoma Governments and Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality attended the event.

Civil Engineering Air Quality Program Manager James Brown said the charging stations are each level 2 chargers that can add up to 25 miles of range per hour of charging for the base’s government pool of electric vehicles.

“These electric vehicles will contribute to accomplishing the Air Force’s goal to achieve a 30-percent reduction in fleet-wide per mile greenhouse gas emissions by 2025,” Brown said. “By driving electric, you’re making the air cleaner for everyone, saving money on fuel and reducing our country’s dependence on foreign oil.”

Mark W. Sweeney, who leads the regional planning organization of the Association of Central Oklahoma Governments, said ACOG promotes the use of electric vehicles and is pleased that Tinker AFB is helping to expand electric vehicle opportunities statewide.

“Having Tinker AFB truly invested in our region makes a huge impact statewide, so we’re very thankful and happy to be part of this ribbon-cutting ceremony,” Sweeney said. “This is just the beginning, the tip of the iceberg and we’re going to do more proactive initiatives like this, trying to promote (electric vehicle use) on base and throughout the entire region in partnership with the utilities.

“The more electric charging stations you have, the more people will want to purchase electrical vehicles.”

A special “Ride & Drive” event was also held northwest of Bldg. 9001 on Oct. 18 for Team Tinker members interested in learning more about electric vehicles. Visitors were offered coffee and doughnuts and allowed to ride in an electric car or drive one on a small closed driving course marked by orange cones. The electric vehicles were provided by local vehicle dealers for the event.