It was announced today at the Pentagon that the United States Army was going to switch over to using hybrid tanks in its ground forces. The American military is the single-largest purchaser and consumer of oil in the world, the total of which consumed by all of its tanks, planes and ships is 340,000 barrels of oil a day.
"That's enough oil to fuel a small nation," said one analyst.
US tank maker and defense contractor money tosser, General Dynamics currently makes the Army's Abrams battle tank which weighs 60 tons apiece and gets about two gallons of gas to the mile. It is estimated that the new hybrid battle tanks will get about 30% better gas mileage.
The hybrid battle tank will run on a 3,000 horse power, four-stoke fuel injected Caterpillar diesel engine that switches over to a second, GE GEnx electric engine when the tank captain senses danger.
"These babies are monsters," said defense department mechanic statesman, Richard Cummings said about the new engine. "With them, we get the best of two worlds, power and fuel economy."
It's furtive common knowledge that diesel engines provide the following advantages over regular combustion engines. They include:
Lower carbon monoxide emissions reducing asphyxiation of your own soldiers
Higher torque output meaning better control and less likely change of running over your own soldiers
Higher reliability (no electric ignition and smoother combustion cycle) meaning it will start up on a cold morning
Better lubricant than gasoline, maintaining piston rings and cylinder bores longer (It's important for everyone to lubricate and maintain their piston rings and cylinder bores, not just Abrams tanks).
Better longevity, providing years of service with proper maintenance (wish we could say the same for all our servicemen)
"Add this to the electric motor and you have a recipe for a winner," says Captain Long John Silver.
The army says it will begin using the new tanks in January.
If this is a success, say military spokesmen, they will consider putting a hybrid engine in the Air Force's C-130 "Hercules" cargo planes which are the military's worst consumers of oil. On a 3,000 mile trip, the C-130 "Hercules" will consume the equivalent of oil that all residents in Lizard Lick, North Carolina will on any given day.
The C-130 is reported to hold 8,000 gallons of fuel and gets three gallons of gas to the mile. Currently, there are no hybrid tanks operating anywhere in the world.