CHICAGO (Army News Service, Feb. 14, 2012) -- Military vehicles are not the first image that comes to mind when thinking of an auto show, but the U.S. Army's newest concept models are among about 1,000 vehicles on display at the 2012 Chicago Auto Show.

The U.S. Army Detroit Arsenal sent a collection of today's military fleet, as well as two new concept hybrid models from its research, development and engineering center, to showcase some of the latest efforts to produce energy efficiency, save dollars, evaluate environmental concerns and save Soldier's lives.

The two Clandestine Extended Range Vehicles, or CERVs, are light-weight, diesel-electric hybrid prototypes that have been engineered for reconnaissance, targeting and rescue missions. With a top speed of 80 mph, the CERVs have a "silent run" capability of eight miles, can ascend a 60-percent grade, have a torque rating of 5,000 pounds and have a decreased fuel consumption of 25 percent over conventional models.

"The amount of fuel that we can save will reduce the amount of Soldiers that are out on convoys providing all the logistics tail that we have," said Lt. Col. Andres Contraras of TARDEC. He said using hybrid technology throughout the Army's tactical fleet could eventually eliminate the need for thousands of the Soldiers on the battlefield who are engaged in the delivery of fuel.

"This CERV vehicle an example of the hybrid technology that's good for the economy, good for the environment, [and] also good for the Army in reducing its logistic footprint," Contraras said.

The new green vehicles were developed by the Army's Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center, known as TARDEC, located in Warren, Mich., in cooperation with California-based Quantum Technologies.

The U.S. Army also works with the National Automotive Center to develop dual-use technologies with the Detroit automakers on components such as advanced suspension technologies, advanced batteries, hybrid and electric technologies and non-primary power sources like auxiliary power units.

"I think in the Army of the future, you're going to see more hybrid technology and all the green technology that the automotive industry is gearing toward," Contreras said.

(Spc. Chuck Gill from Soldiers Radio and Television contributed to this report.)