Despite existing limitations, electric vehicles have the potential to become silent assassins on the battlefield if challenges related to battery technology can be overcome.

Currently, the automotive industry is facing increasingly stringent regulations on emission standards and environmental protection. Most major automakers have announced plans to exclusively offer electric vehicles (EVs) after 2030.

In late 2021, U.S. President Biden signed an order allowing the electrification of certain military vehicles in military bases.

As a result, a mandatory transition to light electric vehicles by 2027 and medium to heavy electric vehicles by 2035 is in progress, considered a preparatory step for deploying electric tanks in the near future without causing significant disruptions.

Battery technology
Currently, Ford has deployed electric F-150 Lightnings at Fort Moore Base. This conversion has reduced 1,000 tons of carbon emissions annually (equivalent to 2.5 million USD) and saved 40,000 USD in fuel costs across the entire 750km2 base with 120,000 military personnel.

Reducing risks, noise, and maintenance costs, the shift to electric vehicles eliminates the dependence on cumbersome fuel supply systems, reducing vulnerabilities and significantly lowering carbon emissions. Electric vehicles also operate much quieter than internal combustion engine vehicles, meeting noise regulations for civilian electric vehicles in the U.S.

Electric military vehicles possess better stealth capabilities on the battlefield, especially at night, due to smoother operation and the ability to pass thermal devices with low heat emission. Additionally, electric vehicles can serve as mobile backup power sources for other combat equipment.

Battery technology
The United States is currently conducting trials to implement an electrification system for various infantry combat vehicles.

Moreover, the simplicity of the electric vehicle propulsion system, with fewer moving parts compared to internal combustion engines, reduces the likelihood of malfunctions, decreasing maintenance time in workshops. This enhances operational efficiency and ensures military vehicle safety.

Limitations of battery technology include the inability to meet long-distance travel requirements. Furthermore, the weight issue arises from the natural characteristics of military vehicles, often evaluated as heavy due to the need for thick armor and armed equipment for self-defense.

Charging electric military vehicles still requires hours, even with the fastest Level 3 charging stations available. Consequently, a transition period involving hybrid military vehicles before full electrification is likely to be implemented.

Battery technology
Since 2021, the U.S. Department of Defense has converted some infantry squad vehicles (ISVs) to use electric energy (eISV), marking a significant step for electric vehicles on the battlefield.

New technologies often have high initial costs, becoming economically viable over time. Despite an 80% reduction in electric vehicle battery costs over the past decade and a current government subsidy of up to $7,500 per new vehicle, the average price of an electric vehicle remains $53,469 according to the US News & World Report.

From 2021, the U.S. Department of Defense converted some infantry squad vehicles (ISVs) to use electric energy (eISVs), laying the groundwork for the presence of electric vehicles on the battlefield. GM Defense announces the development of the “next-generation light tactical electric vehicle” with a hybrid drivetrain to reduce range limitations, aiming for a future with fully electric military vehicles.

Subsequently, the U.S. military may deploy hybrid technology using electric motors in conjunction with internal combustion engines to optimize efficiency and allow battery recharging through regenerative braking. This not only reduces fuel transportation requirements but also allows military facilities to test electric charging infrastructure, paving the way for the future application of hybrid military vehicles.

(According to PopMech)