New US Navy Electric Trucks Sport Solar Panels

They may not be sexy in a Top Gun kind of way, but the US Navy’s continued investments in clean technologies for use throughout its operations recently extended to Pearl Harbor via 36 new electric vehicles. These new two- and four-passenger trucks and cargo vans are from Vantage Vehicle International out of California, who get the chassises for the vehicles from China and add the electric components at their domestic location.

Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Hawaii specifically has taken the three dozen electric vehicles into its inventory and plans to first distribute them to outfits already making use of slow moving vehicles and who have electric charging stations in place. All of the models from Vantage Vehicle that are in this mix operate at a maximum speed of 25 miles per hour and have a range of around 40 miles, depending upon operating conditions.

Navy Electric Trucks

image via US Navy

While not meant to be sleek electric rides like a Tesla Model S, the new NAVFAC EVs do have a few basic things as features such as hard doors, windshield wipers, air conditioning/heat, radio and instrument gauges. They can be charged via standard 100 volt outlets, taking four to six hours for a battery to be fully ready to go.

In a rather practical design feature, each of this electric maintenance vehicles is also equipped with a roof-mounted solar panel, according to NAVFAC, to reduce time and resources at the charging station, while extending battery life and usage.

“These SMVs offer a safer and smarter alternative to the smaller, outdated neighborhood electric vehicles that have been in use for the past 10 years,” said Capt. John Coronado, NAVFAC Hawaii commanding officer, in a statement. “A range of 40 miles and maximum speed of 25 mph make them perfect for commuting in and around JBPHH, transporting people, tools, and supplies to keep our fleet ready.”

To supplement what’s been purchased, plans are in place to buy more of these vehicles in the future. In addition, new charging stations assisted by photovoltaic systems on their roofs are on track for installation at NAVFAC Hawaii’s main transportation compound.

I am the editor-in-chief and founder for EarthTechling. This site is my desire to bring the world of green technology to consumers in a timely and informative matter. Prior to this my previous ventures have included a strong freelance writing career and time spent at Silicon Valley start ups.


  • Reply August 8, 2012

    Chris Smith53

    Zap tried this same thing. the bodies were designed for a gas engine and were too heavy for an electric powertrain. 3000lbs gvw is alot to haul around.
    i have one of the zap 3 wheeled trucks and have yet to go more than 20 miles on it.
    maybe i’m wrong, maybe they figured it out.

  • Reply August 9, 2012

    Paul Felix Schott

      Energy has driven the world for over a thousand years Wind, Hydro
    Solar are the oldest forms of energy giving power to all smart enough to use it.

    the last 200 years Coal, Oil and Nuclear has given energy to many
    worldwide and great power and wealth to only a few. At the cost of many
    lives in coal Mines, Oil Spills, Radiation, Cancer and Polluting the
    Air and Water on all of the Earth.

    Unfortunately for the wicked there is not an unlimited
    amount of oil on earth. Just the same as the Forest Trees that clean
    the air and make Oxygen we breath and all living on earth need to
    Live.  As some in denial are not able to recognize or ever see or live
    with blinders on.

    Doctors and Drug  ceo’s have been making
    millions prescribing drugs to many that live near or by High polluted
    areas that hurt breathing our lungs and harm our children and all. That
    we all pay for. When all they need is Clean Air and Water, and Clean

    common sense would be for all to look for a clean fuel Wind, Hydro,
    Geothermal and Solar. Renewable Energy is eliminating the need for Dirty
    Energy Worldwide at a record pace. With Solar Energy Clearly the front

        To the fear of some of the richest people on Earth. They to surprisingly are doing
    something extraordinary investing in Solar Energy. After years of many of them trying to under mine it.

     Fuel that makes energy to ship goods, or make electric for homes and
    manufacturing. Can transform whole nations into prosperity and wealth
    or poverty and economic hardships for most all. Just as taxes on
    taxpayers has done. For over two thousand years. Making slaves of many
    to the wicked and unjust few. History Lesson Roman Empire, Persian
    Empire now OIL Empire oh sorry OPEC.

    The Freedom to get your own Power from the Wind and Sun, Solar Energy
    has been there for years. Are Libraries and Schools should have been
    the first to have gone Solar and Renewable Energy. And why are they
    not? Churches are all over the Planet. They are going to Solar Energy.

    GOD for the Pioneers like John Schaeffer that Started Real Goods The
    first and Best catalog for Renewable Energy and Scientist Bill Young at
    the FSEC Florida Solar Energy Center and Monica D. Key Lindbergh for
    many years wrote to legislators promoting Solar and Renewable Energy
    and many others.

    These Pioneers helped put Wind, Solar And
    Renewable Energy in the Spotlight for all the World to see. One of The
    Greatest Scientists ever Albert Einstein Stared it with a Dream that
    the day would come that all the World would use Solar Energy. His many
    years of work with the law of the “Photoelectric Effect”, and showing
    this to the World won him the Nobel Prize in Physics. For the
    “Photoelectric Effect”
    Free Energy From the SUN in the heavens above.
    We still do not teach this to our young.

    soon Hybrid Vehicles and (EV’s) Electric Vehicles will out number the
    ones that need oil and gas to go. With the ability to recharge them at
    home and work from the sun. 

    Tesla Motors with its new Model S electric sedan, will be one of many the World will see soon.
    Honda, Nissan, Audi,VW, BMW and Volvo are just some of the Car
    Companies putting into production Electric Vehicles a EV, and many more
    are and many are building Electric / Hybrid Vehicles. The DeLorean Motor
    Company will be putting into production by 2013 a DMC-EV Electric
    DeLorean, that will have a body and power plant that will last you a
    life time. Just think you can recharge them at home and work free from
    the sun Solar Energy.

    The Lord’s Little Helper
    Felix Schott

    Now to own a car that will never rust way and runs on the power from the sun that’s the one for

  • Reply February 17, 2013

    Suncoast E.Vs.

    We recently terminated our franchise with Vantage Electric Vehicles due to very poor quality and total lack of support from the company.

    • Reply February 23, 2016


      thanks for the update.

  • Reply February 23, 2016


    Schott is ideologically delusional. He assumes there is an inherent good in new eco fuels and how we will derive power from them. If anything history teaches us is it is just a cause for new forms of war, by oil states that have a lot if not most to lose and an opportunity for new monopolies. No wonder the ME is on fire. The neighborhood I live in is prevented by local state invested governments in utilities from installing tax free solar panels. It all sounds good when you are day dreaming about the new utopia but the new utopia isn’t much likely to measure up any better than how the dream modern industries would free man for new pursuits and progress, its just a run on sentence. People and their greed, and quirks remain constants,
    Still I look forward to seeing if these solar vehicles measure up.

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