U.S. Army considering hybrid trucks

Oshkosh Truck, a Wisconsin based provider of the Army’s heavy cargo-hauling HEMTT (Heavy Expandable Mobility Technical Truck), is developing an electric hybrid variant for the U.S. Army, and has just signed a contract do develop a prototype of a similar vehicle for the Marines. In addition to increasing fuel economy from 3 to 4 miles per gallon, the hybrid powertrain could generate enough electricity to power a city block or a hospital, a valuable capability when operating in underdeveloped or disaster areas. While the increase in fuel economy might be modest, approximately 70% of what military vehicles carry is fuel. The adaptation of hybrid technology to heavy vehicles is not a straightforward process. Military vehicles often have to operate off-road, carry large amounts of cargo, and endure severe grades, which have an impact on the design of the vehicle. This newest version of the HEMTT uses a diesel engine which powers a generator that sends power to electric drive axles, while energy is stored through regenerative braking. The approach allows reduction in vehicle weight and easier maintenance, on top of the fuel savings.
[Source: Houston Chronicle]

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