Electric vehicles are projected to become more popular in the automotive market. The cost of fossil fuels and knowledge of zero emissions are expected to be two of the factors for the increased adoption rate. In order to address the varying needs for greenhouse gas emissions and fuel efficiency in the United States, Europe, and Asia, numerous vehicle OEMs have conducted detailed studies on various types of hybrid vehicles. Several OEMs in Europe and the United States have hybrid models on the market or are planning to launch shortly.
The typical mechanical set-up of vehicles consists of the power supplied to the wheels by the engine linked by a mechanical drive train and the tank is linked to the internal combustion engine by fuel line with the exhaust device carrying the combustion products to the tail pipe. Mechanical set-up of hybrid vehicles is much more complicated compared to traditional vehicles. In the hybrid cars, batteries along with tanks provide power with an additional gasoline pipe and an electric motor which makes hybrid car more complex. Military organizations from all across the world are also interested in learning more about the energy savings that electric vehicles may provide. Since 1943, the US Army has been researching electric vehicles.
The US military has been conducting extensive research on hybrid military vehicles for the past 50 years, with the usage of electric engines being considered. Therefore, with the start of their hybrid-electric vehicle research and assessment programme in 2005, they were given a higher priority. Several more US programmes created hybrid vehicles in the 2000s, either as a collaborative government-commercial initiative or as a wholly commercial project. These programmes have created a number of hybrid vehicles for testing reasons over the last few years.
Hybrid technology were used to create multipurpose high mobility wheeled vehicles (HMMWV). The HMMWV is a vehicle that is similar to the Logistics Vehicle Modernization Program’s CLSV. According to the study, military hybrid electric vehicles have various advantages, including up to a 68 percent boost in fuel efficiency, but this is largely dependent on the technology utilized and the landscape. The Sustain Operational Function gains greatly from hybrid-electric engines. This severe-duty version demonstrates that this technology may be adapted to military environments where performance and reliability are critical.
Incorporating a hybrid-electric powertrain into a military vehicle is fraught with risk. The biggest issue is cost, as the battery used in these technologies is quite huge and expensive. Large-format lithium-ion batteries currently cost around USD 145 per kilowatt-hour (kWh). Without a complete assessment of electrical usage, it is unknown what is necessary at this time, but a light logistics vehicle is predicted to have a battery capacity of 25-40 kWh. In addition to the battery costs, there are costs for charging and battery management devices, electrical motors, cabling, and control processors. However, the lower lifetime running expenses with respect to fuel, vehicle parts and their maintenance, is expected to somewhat offset these charges.
Due to the sheer scattered and asymmetric character of the battlefield, there is a greater demand for adaptable, effective, and durable fighting capabilities. The modern organized battlefield is defined by coordinated combat, in which several entities (manned and unmanned vehicles, ground forces, and remote operations) share real-time synchronized land-air-sea battleground knowledge. The interconnection systems of the new tanks, for example, enable tanks to work alongside wheeled armored vehicles equipped with traditional vetronics to capture and transform sensor data from battlefields into high-value security and fighting services, due in part to leading defence electronic equipment suppliers. These collaboration technologies enhance C4I (Command, Control, Computers, Communications, and Intelligence) applications and provide data supremacy to military supervisors, allowing them to increase operational speed significantly.
The recent battles in Afghanistan and Iraq demonstrate how much logistics are required on a modern battlefield. In this scenario, the supply chain would have to travel large distances in insecure areas, consuming vast amounts of resources such as labor, equipment, and money. Fuel accounts for 70% of the bulk tonnage required to support a frontline military unit, according to figures from the US Army Materiel Command. Fuel can cost up to USD 40-50 per gallon. This represents the presence of a high number of soldiers on the ground who would otherwise be available for operations. To look at it another way, if vehicles are more fuel efficient, the supply chain would require less resources, allowing more resources to be deployed to win a war.
The US Army is aiming to power its brigades with electric and hybrid sources, rather than diesel and antiquated batteries, which are weighing down its logistical tail and limiting mobility and scope. The US Army recently tested a hybrid Chevy Colorado with a hydrogen fuel cell and a multi-unit electric motor, but nothing came close to matching the effort. The Army considers electrically powered brigades to be advantageous when choosing how it will operate in the long run. The Canadian Army also has not overlooked alternative-powered vehicles in recent years. For many years, the commercial, non-militarized, personnel vehicles and pick-up truck fleets has been using hybrid technology. As a result, maintenance crews are required to continue receiving new training to sustain the fleet. This was also integrated into the routine vehicle training scheduled for vehicle engineers.