Magazine article National Defense

Defense-Funded Project Transforms Truck Engine into Hybrid Electronic Unit

Magazine article National Defense

Defense-Funded Project Transforms Truck Engine into Hybrid Electronic Unit

Article excerpt

The Defense Department is tapping advanced battery technologies to develop environmentally-friendly vehicles that can also enhance military operations.

A case in point is a customized version of the Army and Marine Corps ubiquitous Humvee truck developed to run both on gasoline and on electric power.

A prototype of a hybrid/electric Humvee was built by an industry consortium funded by the Defense Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The technology involves the conversion from a conventional internal combustion engine to a hybrid electric system.

Humvee is a high mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicle widely used by U.S. land forces.

There are currently two hybrid electric models, says Dan Markiewicz, program manager at Concurrent Technologies Corporation, Johnstown, Pennsylvania. The company manages the project for DARPA under the Mid-Atlantic Regional Consortium for Advanced Vehicles (MARCAV).

One of the trucks--developed for the Marine Corps-was on display at the recent 21 st Century Commerce & CALS Expo USA in Orlando, Florida. The second prototype will go to the Army, Markiewicz notes.

The development of advanced technologies by the consortium "will enable electric and hybrid electric powered vehicles to compete with [conventional] ones in both cost and performance," says George Caddy, who also works for Concurrent.

Electric vehicles also offer an obvious benefit to the environment because they do not emit polluting gases.

Besides the Humvee, MARCAV is demonstrating electric engines in the Bradley infantry fighting vehicle and the M113 armored personnel carrier. …

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