The U.S. Army and the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) have partnered to prototype a capability enabling military vehicles to turn off their engines when not moving without affecting onboard electronics.
The project will focus on the installation of hybrid conversion kits with an anti-idle capability on Army tactical vehicles with the goal of reducing fuel consumption while the automobiles are not moving, DIU said Monday.
Ben Richardson, DIU’s advanced energy materials and portfolio director, explained that the benefits of an anti-idle system would allow Army forces to operate longer between refueling and lower fuel demands across logistics supply chains.
The effort will initially focus on the installation of conversion kits on trucks weighing between two-and-a-half tons and 10 tons under the Army’s Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles, with DIU and the Army Program Manager Transportation Systems already awarding prototype integration contracts in August to XL Fleet and Volta Power Systems.
Following the integration work, the two defense organizations plan to task both contractors to produce a retrofit kit for use by soldiers at Army logistics depots and motor pools.