As part of a PEA (advanced design plan) assigned to RENAULT TRUCKS Defense, the ELECTER demonstrator fitted with a parallel hybrid drive system and developed on the basis of a VAB MK III, has been delivered to the French defense procurement agency (DGA).
Following the acceptance tests which confirmed the demonstrator’s very high level performance and robustness, the vehicle was delivered to the DGA on the Angers site on 13 January 2015.
Combining an electric machine and a Diesel engine, the parallel hybrid drive system, which is fitted to a number of the Volvo Group’s civil vehicles and which has demonstrated its pollution reduction and consumption qualities, could now be usefully applied to the military field.
In terms of mobility, the hybrid drive system can thus act as a “booster” in instantaneously delivering additional electrical power of more than 170 kW (230 HP), thereby improving the vehicle’s acceleration and reducing its tactical “leap forward” time.
Stealth mobility becomes accessible as the hybrid configuration allows the vehicle to move silently over more than 10 kilometers, thereby increasing the survivability of front-line units, through the sole use of the electric motor supplied by high-performance batteries, with the thermal-combustion engine not running.
As the electrical needs of military vehicles are increasing sharply, the availability of this electric machine avoids the difficult addition of large generators with powers of up to 15 kW: the combined operation of a standard generator and the electric machine would then fully meet the current and future needs of the vehicle’s system.
In addition, the hybrid drive system provides spare power that is useful for command or observation vehicles during long-endurance missions in silent watch periods where supplying high energy-consuming systems or components always poses a problem for conventional vehicles.
The vehicle can finally be used as a 70kW generating set, advantageously replacing a towed generating set.
The trials scheduled over 18 months will allow the DGA and RTD to approve the migration to the military field of the parallel hybrid transmission developed by the Group’s R&D division, and allow the DGA to give better consideration to the operational capabilities provided by this new technology as part of the development of future combat platforms.
This Electer PEA strengthens the Group’s positions as a leading supplier in France of high performance protected mobility solutions.