The US Army is no stranger to alternative energy, having advocated a move to electric vehicles for the past twenty years in an effort to make combat transport more efficient.
In that time the US military have developed all kinds of new technology, from solar back packs to bio-fuel powered fighter planes.
Yet the introduction of fuel efficient combat vehicles for the field has proved a considerable challenge. At the moment, a regular US tank uses 20 gallons a day in gasoline, but British defence firm BAE Systems is introducing a new tank that will reduce fuel consumption.
The Northrop Grumman Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV) is an hybrid tank that’s been four years in the making. It was first put to the test in 2007 and has been developed with the aim of modernising combat transport in the US military, providing troops with an innovative edge over the enemy.
The GCV is propelled by a hybrid electric system that assures better impact protection and easier manoeuvrability. The tank is twenty percent more efficient in fuel consumption than a contemporary, regular diesel-tank.
This venture into hybrid tanks is part of America’s Future Combat Systems initiative, moving the military towards electric as a means of re-charging supplies, ensuring fewer casualties.
BAE Systems’ website considers the future of the US military to firmly be in hybrid and electric vehicles, given considerable advantages in warfare in using electric.
But will the US put as much effort and money into civilian transport? Surely the first duty of any Commander in Chief is to protect his or her own territory.
Greater air pollution and global warming are a significant threat that no military can defeat.
By all means, if wars must be fought, it can do no harm to fight more environmentally.
But the real, long-term fight is for the planet and only investment in domestic, not combat, transport can win that battle.
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