Systems engineering technology readiness assessment of hybrid-electric technologies for tactical wheeled vehicles
McCown, Eddie E.
Pickar, Charles K.
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The Department of Defense is the largest federal government consumer of fossil fuel. The military has been severely limited by the burden of petroleum-based fuel technologies, which have greatly hindered the military’s ability to conduct operational missions in support of worldwide commitments. The military’s interoperability is hindered by an insatiable worldwide demand for fuel supply and a profound dependence on other countries, especially hostile nations for fuels. Improvements in technology are critical to meeting energy goals. One solution could be the use of hybrid-electric vehicles. Hybrid-electric technology (HET) offers significant opportunities for the military to meet the growing demands for reduced fuel consumption and increased combat vehicle performance. With fuel costs as high as $500 per gallon in the battlefield, according to Gen. James T. Conway, former Commandant of theMarine Corps, it is astonishing that hybrid-electric (HE) military tactical wheeled vehicles have not been deployed. This study presents a technology readiness assessment of the benefits and challenges relative to cost, maturity and technical complexity of the HE system for military vehicle applications. It describes the potential benefits offered should the military make the leap into HET.
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