Analysis of defense vehicle project proves techniques for reducing fuel consumption – after two years of on-the-ground testing the Ricardo-engineered Fuel-Efficient Ground Vehicle Demonstrator (FED) has proven to be as good as the simulation models projected.
The analysis released proves that when compared to the US military’s regularly outfitted M1151 HMMWV, the FED experienced a 72 percent improvement in fuel economy. The FED’s performance was assessed using a number of realistic duty cycles including highway, off-road and idle conditions.
“We implemented a relatively conservative approach using near or in-market technology to reach our fuel economy objectives, and we have proven they are achievable,” said Wesley Scharmen, Ricardo chief engineer on the project. “This kept costs down and increased the production feasibility of the end product.”
The FED uses a supercharged Cummins I4 engine, low-rolling resistance Goodyear tyres, an Alcoa Defense developed aluminium structure and other driveline improvements from Ricardo. The project was developed as a ‘clean sheet’ with a Ricardo-led team that included personnel from the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) working alongside top industry suppliers.
The FED was built at Ricardo’s Detroit facility in 2011 and later displayed at the Pentagon. For the last 19 months, it has been undergoing testing at the U.S. Army’s Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland and other locations. Not only does the FED deliver better fuel economy numbers, but the vehicle boasts increased performance, as well. Driving tests prove significantly improved acceleration over the current vehicle, even when loaded to nearly seven tons.
I don’t see advantage of improving fuel economy of such military vehicle. Would it be to extend the operating range? Or to lighten the vehicle by reducing fuel tank size?