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Even military vehicles look set to adopt hybrid technology

Ricardo, a leading independent technology provider and strategic consultant to the world’s transportation sector industries, has recently unveiled a military hybrid systems demonstrator vehicle. It’s claimed to provide operational flexibility, high efficiency and low whole life costs, while also offering the option of a quiet mode for stealth operations.

Independent hub motors provide improved traction control and stability, survivability and increased ground clearance, resulting in enhanced vehicle mobility. In addition, an on-board generator – capable of delivering more than 100KW of electrical power – has the potential to replace trailer-based generators for functions such as communications.

This is a project of Ricardo’s recently-formed Defence Systems & Technologies strategic business unit. The new unit will help the military benefit from the latest automotive technologies developed throughout the Ricardo group – in areas such as next-generation combustion systems, hybrid and electric vehicle powertrains, NVH, transmission and driveline systems, active safety and control & electronics.

Recognising the importance of fuel economy in military vehicle applications, the new unit will also benefit from Ricardo’s expertise in fuel-efficient powertrain technologies and vehicle design processes. These include the Ricardo ‘total vehicle fuel economy process’ through which engineering teams quantify and address the energy losses in every vehicle system and deploy the most fuel-efficient vehicle and sub-system solutions.

Ricardo says: “With the increasing need for military vehicles to perform in extreme and potentially hostile environments, the application of advanced technology is becoming ever more important. Whether in peacekeeping or combat, exceptional standards of vehicle performance, handling, safety, serviceability and reliability are expected, together with many application-specific needs for more specialist roles.”