The British Army is done with diesel.
Like the rest of the world, the British Army is set to begin its transition to electric mobility with four converted electric Land Rover military models. To help make the transition easier, defense company Babcock International has received a one-year contract from the Ministry of Defence (MOD). The British Army will be assisted in getting to grips with electric propulsion and its potential constraints.
Babcock will partner with EV experts Electrogenic to convert the diesel-powered Land Rover models. Already, Electrogenic has demonstrated its expertise by engineering an electric version of a classic Porsche 911. Of course, the demands of the British Army's vehicles will be a different project altogether, but Electrogenic has extensive experience converting Land Rover Defender SUVs to EVs, too.
The four in-service Land Rovers - two protected vehicles and two general services ones - will be converted using a drop-in kit and a modified battery system, but the real hard work begins after that. Once running on electric power, the Land Rovers will be handed over to the Armored Trials and Development Unit (ATDU) to place them in several typical military and battlefield scenarios. That will include testing the vehicle's abilities in wading and towing, how it copes with steep terrain, and its performance in different climates.
"This is a great opportunity to investigate alternative engine technology, which will enable the British Army to extend the life of its Land Rovers as diesel becomes obsolete," said Chris Spicer from Babcock. "I'm excited to see how the converted Land Rovers perform in a test environment against diesel and hybrid equivalents."
The electric Land Rovers will help the MOD prepare to transition to electric vehicles in 2030, with a greater goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
While most of the talk around EVs in the industry has focused on moving the general public away from polluting gas-powered vehicles, it's clear that electric technology has evolved to a point where it can be utilized in other areas. For example, the United States Army took delivery of Canoo electric Light Tactical Vehicles for evaluation late last year. Canoo's LTV has 32-inch all-terrain tires and over 600 horsepower, along with many other rugged features, to ensure it can keep up in demanding tactical scenarios.
Separately from the Canoo project, the US Military also requested that General Motors Defense build a battery pack prototype for testing after it had previously evaluated the capabilities of the GMC Hummer.
Be it law enforcement on the streets or readiness for the battlefield, electric propulsion gradually infiltrates every facet of mobility.
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