Army Tests Hybrids Fueled by Hydrogen

As part of a strategic effort to provide vehicles suitable for use in far-flung locales, the United States Army has begun to test hybrid automobiles fueled by hydrogen instead of gasoline. With fuel cells still cost prohibitive, Army researchers are jazzed by the possibility of combining existing electric drive assist technology with hydrogen fuel. They have started experimenting as such with converted Ford Escape Hybrid SUVs.

The U.S. Army has begun testing a hydrogen and electric version of the Ford Escape Hybrid.

According to a statement released by the Army’s National Automotive Center (NAC), combining such technologies “has the potential to offer a cost-effective alternative to full fuel-cell powered vehicles.” The Army is working with an industry partner, Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies, to make such ultra-hybrid vehicles, along with mobile compressed hydrogen refueling stations, a practical reality.

“Currently one of the biggest vehicle technology focuses for the Army is alternative energy, both hybrid and fuel cell,” says Paul Skalny, director of the NAC. “We are continually exploring the uses of commercial fuel cell and hybrid platforms for both tactical and combat vehicles.”