Hybrids Could Replace Army's Humvees
Wired Magazine reports that the military is developing a hybrid Humvee alternative which might boost the market for combination combustion-electric vehicles. During a recent conference, the army demonstrated a hybrid vehicle chassis that can be installed into vehicles such as Humvees, Jeeps, armored vehicles and pickup trucks.
The vehicle is powered by a small diesel engine and two hybrid motors. The cost of the engine would be $20,000 to manufacture and could replace a $65,000 Humvee. The vehicles are projected to get about 50 miles per gallon, compared to the Humvee's current 11 mpg. Cutting fuel costs and reducing maintenance were the driving forces behind the decision to create hybrid vehicles, according to an Army spokesperson.
Similar to the Toyota Prius, the prototype vehicle minimizes fuel use by running exclusively on the electric motors at low speeds or when idling. The Army designed the vehicle for easy repair by providing unobstructed access to the engine, electric motor and drive train. The batteries are located in the center of the chassis beneath the vehicle for easy access.
:: Wired Article [by Justin Thomas]