Hybrid and pure electric military vehicles are being rapidly developed and deployed around the world. Here we only have space for a few examples. beyond these, there is progress with hybrid two wheelers that will have both military and civil use as analysed by Benjamin Consulting Group.
Rolls Royce and BAE Systems in the UK are involved in military hybrid electric drives for ships and land vehicles. The advantages of multispeed automatic transmissions applied directly to electrical machines and hybrid vehicles generally have major implications for military vehicles, says UK-based automatic transmission specialist Antonov plc, whose headquarters are in Warwick in the UK, its innovative designs sometimes being manufactured in China.
It has been awarded a project by the UK's Technology Strategy Board to design and develop a high efficiency 3-speed powershift transmission suitable for hybrid electric vehicles, which Antonov believes could be similarly applied to military vehicles. The transmission will feature initially in Jaguar's high profile Limo-Green electric vehicle research project.
"The 3-speed transmission can be coupled to a much smaller electrical motor yet deliver acceleration and top speed comparable to a conventional powertrain," says Chief Commercial Officer Roberts. "The efficiency curve of an electric motor is far more pronounced than the torque curve, so the major benefit of a multispeed transmission is to keep the motor operating as close as possible to its most efficient speed, which will increase the vehicle range."
The company's latest engineering contract, awarded by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD), addresses the issue of vehicle electrical power. The project is for the development of a 2-speed alternator for military and commercial vehicle applications. With two speeds available, the alternator can match the output in the low speed range of a larger and more expensive single-speed alternator, and it will also have the potential of replacing multiple alternators that are often required for heavy-duty military vehicle applications. The DVD 2010 show provided Antonov with an opportunity to present a sectioned model of its 2-speed alternator.
ST Kinetics in Singapore
ST Kinetics in Singapore is hybridising existing vehicles to increase range and reduce the need for logistical support, with the added benefits of less heat signature. An example is shown above.
Bronco, an all-terrain tracked carrier in at least four variants, is built for a Singapore Army requirement but is completing trials with European countries. Bronco is seen by ST Kinetics as a basis for future developments such as an active articulation system, with the ability to quickly decouple the rear module and operate it as a remotely piloted vehicle. Hybrid electric drive, based on technology already established in some buses, is being investigated for Bronco.
Hybrid electric drive is also reported to be an option for an unmanned version of the Spider light strike vehicle for reconnaissance in hazardous environments. The basic Spider has completed trials in the United Arab Emirates.
Image: ST Kinetics Bronco
Source: ST Kinetics
For more attend: Future of Electric Vehicles which uniquely covers the whole electric vehicle market - land, sea, air whether hybrid or pure EV - with emphasis on future breakthroughs.
The new IDTechEx report "Electric Vehicles 2010-2020" has a chapter giving extensive coverage of military electric vehicles with ten year forecasts by number, unit value and market value. Electric Vehicles 2010-2020.