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Published on June 28th, 2013 | by Christopher DeMorro

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Might The Military Make EVs Mainstream?

smith-electric-marinesAmerica has the world’s largest military by far, spending more than the next 20 countries combined. When we’re not invading other countries, the military of developing world-changing technologies like GPS and the Internet, technologies that once seemed impossibly expensive for the average person to own. So one writer is asking; can the military make EVs mainstream?

The question was posed by Jack Baruth over at TTAC, pointing to the recent Zero MMX special-forces motorcycle as an example of a practical application of electric vehicles in the military. This quiet and reliable electric motorcycle has been designed for use by special forces, who covet stealth. Silence is actually a huge advantage in a military context, and electric vehicles could excel given their quiet nature.

Even outside of combat, electric vehicles powered by local solar arrays would alleviate the millions of gallons of fuel even a modestly-sized outpost requires on an annual basis. Having small EVs running parts and supplies around the base would be a huge boon to cutting back on fuel-intensive trucks most bases already use. Even the military recognizes that shortages of fossil fuels will drive future conflict, and seeking out alternatives is imperative.

The U.S. Marines have experimented with a handful of Smith Electric trucks on some bases, but if the military were to employ EVs en masse, it would be a huge boon to battery and automakers. It could also accelerate progress on battery and motor technology, as well as give regular soldiers more exposure to electric vehicles.

While we are probably decades away from fully-electric tanks rolling across the battlefield of the future, the U.S. military could have a huge impact on EV adoption going forward…if the generals so choose.

Source: The Truth About Cars


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About the Author

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



  • UncleB

    Note the COE design denotes good engineering over sales office design. Expect the new “Corpocracy’ to demand this practicality to replace the current ‘pick up truck phenomenon. this 1/3 more cargo room design means that if you buy 3 COE styled trucks you get the Cargo space of 4 conventional pick up styles. Huge cash advantage and air bag protection systems dictate the COE soon to replace the conventional style.
    America must fight back, give in to changes like electric and hybrid, COE designs and let go of the “Cheap Oil Era” systems we once enjoyed. Expect Thorium reactors of American design to help force the conversions to all electric vehicles and save us all from the carcinogenic benzine molecule that now molests our life form.
    Chinese Electric bullet trains proven for a decade now, operate on nuclear electricity from safer Thorium reactors soon enough(2017) and benzine free, fossil fuel free and running at 320 km per hour – faster than any American train, tickets cheaper than any American jet flight. Can we learn form them? Japan did?

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