It seems we’re all becoming a little more fuel conscious these days and that includes the military. While in the past, heavy battle tanks and armored carriers that did eight gallons to the mile were deemed acceptable, that’s apparently no longer the case.
As the 21st century unfolds, even the military (which in 2008 consumed about 1.5 percent of all oil in the U.S.), is looking to more fuel efficient solutions when it comes to vehicle design and development.
Helping its cause will be a brand new, state-of-the-art Ground Systems Power and Energy laboratory complex in Warren, Mich. that will be operated by the U.S. Army’s Tank Automotive Research Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC). The opening of the labs creates some 150 new job positions, in addition to the 1,500 souls already employed by TARDEC, which primarily consist of engineers, researchers and scientists.
This week, Federal and Michigan State officials announced the grand opening of the new lab complex which covers some 30,000 square feet, something that many consider to be well timed. That’s especially true as military presence is scaled back in the Great Lake State with planned cuts at a number of facilities including the large Selfridge Air National Guard base located between Metro Detroit and Port Huron.
John Wray, a TARDEC spokesman, said hiring for the new lab positions will be incremental, while also mentioning that introducing more fuel efficient vehicles, including those with hybrid propulsion, can save lives. “For every one percent improvement in fuel efficiency, the need for 6,444 solider fuel trips is eliminated,” he said.
[Source: The Detroit News]