The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) recently announced a spending program involving electric vehicles (EV) that will see the purchase(s) defer part of their own costs by giving power back to the grid.

The DoD says it has plans for a $20 million investment in a fleet of electric vehicles that can plug into the grid in order that the EVs can resupply power grids at times of peak demand when the EVs aren’t in use.

Plans call for 500 “vehicle-to-grid” EVs, ranging in price from $30,000 to $100,000, which are modified versions of vehicles already on the market.

An example of an existing vehicle modified to use an all-electric powertrain are VIA Motors extended-range electric trucks and vans built to spec from current model General Motors line of Sierra trucks, SUVs, and cargo vans.

Concurrent Technologies Corp., which conducts scientific and technical projects for the government, is under contract to select the first noncombat vehicles for the electric fleet according to the DoD. Also required will be construction of charging stations to accommodate a fleet that could be deployed to up to 30 military installations.

“The three main criteria we’re focused on is reducing fleet expense, enhancing mission capabilities and meeting our energy efficiency goals,” said Camron Gorguinpour, special assistant to the assistant secretary of the Air Force for installations, environment and logistics.

The Air Force, which has the lead on the project, envisions Los Angeles Air Force Base becoming the first federal facility to replace everything from passenger sedans to shuttle buses with electric versions.

“It’s about being able to deliver electricity on demand,” said Gorguinpour about how the DOD’s EVs could resupply electricity to the power grid.

“It will be a sizable amount of power when all of the vehicles are aggregated together.”