- May 15, 2006
The US military may get its own hybrid bruiser
The primary job of the US military's ground forces isn't to haul fuel, but you wouldn't know that by looking at the mix of cargo that it lugs around the battlefield. Approximately 70% of military vehicle cargo is fuel, which is no surprise considering that a large off-road truck may only get 2-4 MPG. Add everything up, and cost of getting that fuel to the front lines can top $600/gallon.
Oshkosh has a solution, however - the Heavy Expanded Mobility Technical Truck, or HEMTT, fitted with the company's ProPulse hybrid drive system. The system uses a diesel motor to spin a generator in a series hybrid configuration, where no mechanical connection exists between the IC engine and the drive axles. Ultracapacitors are used instead of batteries to store energy. The ProPulse system packs 300 kilowatts (just over 400 HP) of electrical power - enough to lug 13 tons of cargo around, over, or through just about any terrain. Used as a stationary generator, the HEMTT can power several houses in event of a power outage.
The packaging of the hybrid drivetrain leads to better operator comfort, vastly improved serviceability, and a center of gravity that's lowered by over a foot when compared to a conventional drivetrain.
The system is currently in the prototype phase, and there is no definitive date for the system to enter active duty. The cost of the system is also unknown at this time. We just want to know when we can pick one up at a surplus auction.
[Source: AP via Yahoo!]