Military Diesel Hybrid?

December 29th, 2009

Got to thinking the other day-just a part-time activity for me lately-about a truck kinda promised to us several years ago.

Hello,

Got to thinking the other day-just a part-time activity for me lately-about a truck kinda promised to us several years ago. There was an article in the Transportation section of the Sunday Chicago Tribune saying something about the Army being very interested in a new Dodge truck because it could not only provide transportation, but could furnish enough electricity to power a lot of communication gear. Seems this was to be a Diesel-Electric, what we now know as hybrids. With your contacts in Detroit, did you ever hear of this? When will it be on the market? Will it be a good choice to pull my 35-foot fifth wheel? Could you hop it up for drag racing by putting more batteries in the bed?

Bud Budzien
Via The Internet

We also heard that the military was keenly interested in hybrids, and that since they ran pretty much everything off one fuel-diesel-these would be diesel-powered. However, what we heard described was something more like the GM hybrid pickup truck, a mild hybrid that could provide auxiliary power for computers, tools and appliances when stationary. The vehicle gets about eight percent better mileage by means of an engine start/stop system, but does not actually ever run on battery power alone.

Closer to what you have in mind might be the two-speed hybrid system being engineered by a consortium of GM/Daimler-Chrysler and other companies. This system will be made for trucks, could easily be adapted to diesel power, and is targeted for sale around 2008.

So far as we know, there is still no practical way to “hop up” a hybrid. This would be partly because of the proprietary software that controls hybrid systems, which is hard to improve on, and partly because battery pack size is generally matched to the output of the motor/generator unit(s). Now, with battery research progressing toward Lithium Ion battery packs, it is possible that different types of short-term improvements could be engineered. But for steady-state uses, such as towing, we suspect it would be hard to beat the OE software algorithms.

 

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