Major automakers are all going green, as are many government militaries who see the battle for limited oil resources as a major flashpoint going forward. The U.S. government has just awarded Saft with $1.3 million to continue developing a lithium-ion battery system for the next-generation of Army Ground Combat Vehicles, or GCVs.
Saft claims to have already built a demonstration battery system including all of the hardware and software, which will be used in the next GCV. Called the Energy Storage Solution system, or ESS, this hybrid-drive system will allow the nine-man GCV armored personnel carrier to run silently and idle without sucking up precious fuel. This even extends to the next-gen Hummer, slated to get almost 7 mpg!
The military has spent upwards of $400 a gallon to protect and transport fuel to remote outposts in places like Afghanistan. Any means of reducing dependence on liquid fuels would save the U.S. military (and American taxpayers) hundreds of millions of dollars. The military sees reducing dependence on petroleum as an issue of national security, and hybridizing Army units like the GCV can go a long way towards those goals.
Meanwhile the U.S. Navy is trying out a new biofuels based on algae and the Pentagon is deploying solar panels to units the world over. With hybrid combat vehicles set to be deployed in the next few years, I think it is safe to say that hybrid technology has definitely gone mainstream. Will hybrid attack vehicles be able to finally convert those alternative-energy skeptics? Or will there always be hybrid haters, whether it is a tank, race car, or personal vehicle?
Source: Hybrid Cars