New Fuel Efficient Ground Vehicle Demonstrtaor FED Alpha burns 70% less fuel than an HUMVEE 2210112

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Defense News - United States

 
 
Saturday, October 22, 2011, 07:50 AM
 
New Fuel Efficient Ground Vehicle Demonstrtaor 'FED Alpha' burns 70% less fuel than an HUMVEE
The Fuel Efficient Ground Vehicle Demonstrator, dubbed "FED Alpha," was on display this week in the Pentagon courtyard for an Energy & Sustainability Technology Fair. Last week it was on the exhibit floor at the 2011 Association of the U.S. Army Annual Meeting and Exposition.
     

The Fuel Efficient Ground Vehicle Demonstrator, dubbed "FED Alpha," was on display this week in the Pentagon courtyard for an Energy & Sustainability Technology Fair. Last week it was on the exhibit floor at the 2011 Association of the U.S. Army Annual Meeting and Exposition
The U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center unveiled its Fuel Efficient Ground Vehicle Demonstrator FED Alpha to employees at the Pentagon

     

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.

Kramer has been involved in designing the FED Alpha for the past three years. TARDEC is working with Ricardo, a British company, on the testing phase of the vehicle at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md.

The FED Alpha may never be mass produced as is, Kramer said, but added that he hopes many of the energy-saving features can be priced low enough to make it onto the next generation of tactical vehicles.

"Hopefully the technology on here can get back into the force," he said.

The FED Alpha 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.

 

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