the first of two vehicle projects that the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) is developing to showcase fuel efficient technologies, while maintaining tactical vehicle capability equivalent to an up-armored HMMWV. Maximizing fuel efficiency not only saves the Army money in direct fuel costs, but it can also help save soldiers lives by reducing the frequency of driving fuel convoys into highly targeted combat locations.
The concept vehicle has a solar panel on its rear hatch that can recharge its electrical system. It also has a custom engine, transmission and a score of other features that dramatically increase its mileage per gallon compared to other Humvees.
The vehicle has all the capabilities of an up-armored Humvee, but burns about 70 percent less fuel, said Steve Kramer, an engineer with the U.S. Army Tank and Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Command, known as TARDEC, headquartered in Warren, Mich.
features a Cummins turbo-charged 200-horsepower 4-cylinder diesel engine, a six-speed automatic transmission, and low-rolling resistance tires.
The low-rolling tires alone provide an estimated 7 percent fuel reduction. While officials said that percentage may not sound like much, if applied to the Army's entire tactical vehicle fleet, it would add up to about $45 million in fuel savings annually.
The vehicle also has a gas pedal that provides the driver feedback if the vehicle exceeds the recommended fuel-efficiency speed. The pedal vibrates and provides force against the driver's foot, but if it's mission-essential to increase the speed, Kramer said the driver can punch through the feedback and continue the mission.
The F.E.D. Alpha also has:
A high-efficiency 28-volt integrated starter-generator that enables electric accessories and 20 k.W of onboard power for equipment
A lightweight aluminum structure, except for the armored cab and underbelly V-shaped blast shield
An improved driveline that uses a unique carrier and differential assembly, including non-geared hubs and isotropic super-finished gears to reduce friction