With more and more automakers coming up with hybrid electric vehicles as a solution to the growing concerns about air pollution and cost of conventional fuel, it is expected that the US Military will start spending more on eco friendly options. While hints for the same are already available, with the US armed forces making use of renewable energy generators wherever possible, British defense giant BAE Systems is now proposing to green the military’s arsenal with a new tank that will run on a hybrid-electric drivetrain.
Being proposed to replace the aging Bradley M2 tank, the new fighting vehicle would offer a bigger gun, strong armor on all sides and room for a dozen soldiers inside. Moreover, just like the Prius, the new vehicle will be able to operate on conventional fuel or electric power. Also proposed is a regenerative braking mechanism that will top up the batteries with energy harnessed whenever the brakes are applied.
The propulsion system is also expected to have fewer moving parts and will offer better gas mileage. However, all this will come at a cost as the new tank will have a weight of a hefty 70 tons, which is 47 tons more than the Bradley M2 it is expected to replace. As Bloomberg BusinessWeek reports, the new tank might not be as environmentally friendly as it is being proposed to be. BAE says that the tank would consume 4.61 gallons of fuel per hour when idling, which is less than the 10 gallons burned by conventional US tanks of the same size, but still not much different than what Bradley M2 consumes. Moreover, the new fighting machine is expected to cost at least three times than the aging Bradley M2.