The US Army is keen to eliminate the need to carry massive amounts of petroleum to battles and outposts across the world, but converting bigger equipment like tanks to electric vehicles is unlikely to occur anytime soon.
The United States Military recently conducted a technological event to demonstrate the latest in electric vehicle technology.
The army, which holds huge numbers of internal combustion vehicles, has a strong financial motive to support the most expensive vehicle power system.
The army does not appear to believe that it is time to switch to electric vehicles just yet, and heavier armored vehicles like tanks and combat vehicles could take much longer.
The United States Army, which has one of the largest global vehicle fleets, is focusing solely on the advancement of electric cars.
Traditional internal combustion engines must be carefully weighed against developing electric-vehicle technologies by the army. While the military is keen to eliminate ICE’s drawbacks, including the need to transport huge amounts of fuel to the battlefield, it does not anticipate that bigger armored vehicles, notable tanks, will become electric anytime in the near future.
Firms demonstrated their newest EV innovation at a recent US Army-sponsored technological day, along with an electrified version of the original Infantry Squad Vehicle, which GM Defense built in only 3 months. The army is apparently exploring hybrid cars as well as a new technology that reduces fuel usage while idling, but it isn’t prepared to make the switch to electric vehicles just yet. Yet further distant are larger, more heavily armored electric-powered battle vehicles.
The Military has 225,000 vehicles of various types, ranging from Humvees to 70-ton Abrams tanks. Internal combustion engines are used in all of these vehicles, which are dependable yet burn a lot of diesel and petrol. In warfare, a single armored division may require up to 500,000 gallons of gasoline per day, which will have to be supplied and then trucked thousands of kilometers into the fighting line.
EVs, on the other hand, are gaining pace with their ICE counterparts. EVs accounted for just 2.6 percent of worldwide automobile sales in 2020, yet it represented a 40% growth over prior sales. Internal combustion engines will be phased out in France by 2040, while most ICE engines will be banned in California and New York by 2035. EVs are becoming more and more likely to be the way of the future.
However, when it comes to ICEs vs. EVs, the Army is in a difficult situation. The military wants the best-performing vehicles to enable mobility on the battleground, and ICE has been the only show in town for more than a century. Internal combustion engine disadvantages, notably the necessity to carry gasoline to far-flung parts of the world, have become second nature to the Army. Other problems include loud engines and gasoline that might burn when a vehicle is damaged or immobilized, frequently with fatal results.
However, electric vehicles (EVs) provide exciting prospects. Electric engines do not require fuel oil, therefore an all-electric vehicle fleet can effectively eliminate one of a military’s most important and critical fuel supply lines. Electric engines are also extremely quiet, making vehicles on the battlefield simpler to cover. They also don’t have a reservoir of combustible liquid that can make the crew’s fight damage tenfold worse.
What is the issue? Electric vehicles always have significant limitations.
A fuel cell Integrated Light Combat Vehicle can be fueled up in a couple of minutes, but an electric-powered vehicle would take longer to charge its batteries. Because fluid internal combustion fuel has a considerably greater energy ratio than batteries, the army would have to transport more batteries than liquid fuel. The army could recharge batteries in theater, but it would need a diesel-fueled generator—or nuclear energy.
United States Military can’t plan on sticking on ICE indefinitely, but it also can’t switch fully to EVs just now caused by technological limits. If the army waits and does not transition to the civilian sector, it will have to pay higher fuel and maintenance costs. While a household or small company might be capable to get by in an electric world using ICE, increase that price by 250,000 and the issue for the US Army comes clear.