Thursday August 13, 2009
What is it?
Through a special purchase agreement with the Government Services Agency, the Army has acquired 502 hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs). As of August 5, 2009, with the delivery of the last vehicle, the Army is a leader in utilizing HEVs from among all federal agencies. An HEV is a vehicle that combines a conventional propulsion system with a rechargeable energy storage system (RESS) to achieve better fuel economy than a conventional "gas only" vehicle. Its secondary propulsion system means that it does not require recharging visits to an electrical charging unit.
Why is it important to the Army?
We must build trust and confidence that the Army is a good steward of its resources and responsibilities and can be counted on to do what's right. The Army must do its part to reduce fossil fuel consumption and to minimize the cost impact that energy has upon the operations budget. The Army is leading the way in utilizing hybrid technologies. Modern fuel-efficient technologies give the Army improved fuel economy and less reliance on expensive fossil fuels like oil and natural gas. The Army of the future is an expeditionary Army and cannot be tied to giant fuel convoys crossing deserts and mountains that the enemy strives to attack and control. By creating energy efficient operations in our daily lives and in our training, we can better prepare our Soldiers to deploy and fight in a manner that will yield a tactical advantage over our enemies.
The use of these vehicles will have the immediate benefit of reducing fossil fuel consumption. Hybrid vehicles average 40 miles per gallon, thus lowering fuel costs and reducing "green house" gas emissions in many cases by more than 50 percent. Through continued research and development, of Hybrid Drive Combat Vehicles, this technology may be utilized on the battlefield in the future. The Army staff estimates that a one percent reduction of fuel consumption in theater means roughly 6,000 fewer Soldier fuel convoys. This translates into potentially fewer lives lost during operations to protect the fuel.
What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?
Through discussing and demonstrating the efficiencies of HEVs at delivery milestones and during public and industry events, the Army will engage Congress, Army senior leaders, industry, and the public and demonstrate that the Army is leading the way in employing emerging fuel efficient technologies and wants to team with industry to benefit the environment and Soldiers fighting in the 21st century.
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"Every day, we try to make the lives of our Soldiers and their families better. And advocating unmanned systems technology is all part of it."
- Lt. Gen. Rick Lynch, commanding general of the Army's III Corps and Fort Hood, Texas, an advocate for unmanned ground systems since graduating from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a master's degree in mechanical engineering focused on robotics
"The Army is not all about combat...The love and companionship, the esprit de corps and teamwork that’s all part of being in the Army. We want people to understand that being a Soldier means someone always has your back and that we take care of each other."
- Sgt. 1st Class Monica Godfrey, who has spent 10 of her 18 Army years as a recruiter
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