The Hummer H1 was based on a military truck, and now it seems that GM is ready to return the favor. said GM Defense President Steve duMont CNBC the company planned to make a prototype military vehicle based on the upcoming Hummer EV. The eLRV, or electric light reconnaissance vehicle, would modify the Hummer frame, engines, and Ultium batteries to meet U.S. military requirements.
The prototype should be ready sometime in 2022. However, there is no guarantee that the U.S. military will use eLRV. The military is still researching the sustainability of such electric vehicles, and GM will have to meet formal requirements (along with a competing manufacturer) if and when they exist. The choice should be sometime in the mid-2020s.
Every military EV faces logistical challenges, at least for machines on the front lines. For starters, soldiers could not just find a charging station on the battlefield – they would need portable charging systems that did not depend on a proper electrical grid. DuMont said GM could provide combustion-powered charging systems. We would add that temperatures significantly affect the range of the EV, and replaceable batteries (important for quick reversals and repairs) are still in relative infancy.
There could be advantages to adopting military electric vehicles. They could improve overall emissions, even if the need for combustion-based chargers partially offsets that advantage. EVs generally require less maintenance due to fewer moving parts. Their quiet operation could be extremely useful for reconnaissance and stealth missions in which conventional driving would be too noisy. The challenge is to make the most of these advantages while minimizing the disadvantages that could harm operating speeds.
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