U.S. Marine Corp Buys Two Smith Electric Vehicles


The U.S. Military is one of  the most vulnerable entities to fuel shortages, making the greening of our military a national security issue. So I’m glad to hear the Marines have purchased two Smith Newton Electric trucks.

I’m a big history buff, and I know one of the main strategies in war is to deprive the enemy of fuel, food, and munitions. An army without bullets cannot fight, and an army without fuel cannot move. It’s the vulnerability of a massive, mechanized army like ours. Electric vehicles, however, don’t have the same vulnerabilities if powered from renewable energy like solar power. The Marines have purchased two of Smith Newton Electric trucks, presumably to put through the tests and rigors that military equipment must withstand. Again, electric vehicles have the advantage of a more durable drivetrain with fewer moving parts.

However, diesel and petrol engines have had a long time to get as tough and as durable as they are. They will not easily be dislodged from their place without our military’s ranks. I hope the Smith trucks are up to the challenge. They have a top speed of 55 mph and a range of 50 to 120 miles, enough for base deliveries and personnel transportation, able to hold up to 16,000 pounds. As an added bonus, they are very quiet. Imagine a fleet of silent military vehicles slipping into town at night and delivering hundreds of troops right where they are needed without attracting undue attention.

A fantasy for now, but maybe not for long. The Marine Corp wants to reduce its energy usage by 30% by 2015, increase use of renewable by 2025, and the entire military wants to completely operate on non-petroleum fuels by 2040 in order to avoid the vulnerabilities of this unstable fuel source.

Source: Green Car Advisor

Chris DeMorro is a writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to Hemis. You can follow his slow descent into madness at Sublime Burnout.

About the Author

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he’s running, because he’s one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.

  • Being a child of the (late) Cold War, I wonder what the cold-weather range of these things is.

  • Hey Chris — David Ferris at Matter Network here, with a style point. Our Marines are called the “Marine Corps,” not the “Marine Corp.”

    Would have preferred to email this to you but don’t have your email address. Feel free to email me and then delete this comment so we can be in direct contact.

  • Solar power as secure and viable for military use???

    Please, take off the green glasses.

    This truck has a 120 KW-hr battery. According to PVWATTS for Uzbekistan(nearest data point), it takes 2 MEGAWATTS of installed solar in Afghanistan to charge ONE truck, ONCE during the day if you want to fight in winter.

    I submit that a 10,000 panel, 2 megawatt solar farm is a bit vulnerable and a bit expensive to charge ONE truck.

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