www.electrichybridvehicletechnology.com // January 2020 // 97
In addition to this, Raphaël reveals that the
company is also set to release a new and highly
innovative 80kW ‘crate’ High Power Density
(HPD) EV system, designed to act as a turnkey
powertrain solution for low-volume cars and
light commercial and recreational vehicles.
“To date, niche manufacturers have not had
access to compact, high-power EV powertrains
they could source in low to mid volume,
leading to a vacuum of supply,” says Caillé.
“When you factor in development costs,
specialist OEMs haven’t been able to electrify
their vehicles as quickly as they would like.
Our ready-to-install ‘crate’ powertrain will
accelerate EV adoption in sectors poorly served
by the larger Tier 1 manufacturers and
integrators,” he adds.
Although not directly ready for combat use
just yet, Caillé points out that the compact
600mm x 440mm x 280mm motor, inverter,
transmission and cooling system assembly fi ts
in a quad bike or under the loading platform of
a van, so could easily be converted for military
vehicles with additional engineering elements.
A marriage of technology
The head of the British Army, General Sir Mark
Carleton-Smith, recently announced a new
£3.2m (US$4.1m) project, led by the Defence
Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL),
which would focus on electric drive systems for
future tanks and robotic vehicles in a bid to
make warfare more ‘environmentally friendly’.
As paradoxical as that sounds, fuel e ciency
is a hot topic for those military forces that face
budget cutbacks and a decreasing level of
funding at a governmental level.
But as QinetiQ’s Dr Moore points out,
electric propulsion can do more than simply
make vehicles more e cient – it can also
enable and support emerging technologies.
Autonomous driving is one such innovation
that armed forces are taking very seriously, due
to the the fact that it removes personnel from
the theater of confl ict and massively reduces
the danger to life.
“Replacing engines and mechanical drive
shafts with electrical power sources and
motors allows a single system which combines
propulsion with sensors, controls, on-board
computers, communications and targeting
systems,” decribes Moore. “Electric propulsion
is therefore a vital part of a broader move
towards increased electrifi cation and
However, the current power density in
battery packs and the issues of charging on the
battlefi eld are still issues that military Tier 1
suppliers are still trying to resolve.
The US Army has long relied on JP-8 aviation
fuel for many of its larger vehicles, but several
companies are already looking at the viability
of hydrogen fuel cell technology, chiefl y due to
the energy density benefi ts and the relative
ease at which fuel can be transported.
GM Defense recently unveiled a militaryspec
fuel cell vehicle based on the company’s
road-going Silverado model. The Silverado ZH2
boasts a range of 400 near-silent and
2. The Silent Utility Rover
(SURUS) is an
autonomous vehicle that
uses fuel cell propulsion.
The commercial vehicle
platform designed by
GM can be adapted
for military use
3. The fuel cell features
torque, exportable power
generation and quick