As automakers prepare to meet new fuel efficiency requirements, 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025, they are finding help from a somewhat unlikely source – the Pentagon. Military researchers at the $60 million Tank Automotive Research and Development and Engineering Center in Warren, Michigan are working to improve the fuel efficiency and overall operation of military vehicles and this data could help automakers meet the 54.5 miles per gallon requirement.
Jeff Green tackles the topic in his article for Bloomberg Businessweek, Better Gas Mileage, Thanks to the Pentagon.
“The military’s researchers are aiming to improve parts that drain energy, such as radiators, air filters, and mufflers. In one experiment, workers are trying to recapture engine power that’s wasted as exhaust heat and convert it into electricity that could recharge batteries or run internal computers.”
Once a prototype is developed, it will be installed on a tank and tested in a variety of conditions. Eventually, the knowledge gained through the tests could help make passenger cars and trucks more fuel efficient.
A radiator is a radiator, whether it is installed in a 10-ton tank or a 1.5-ton Toyota Prius. While a Prius and a tank or two entirely different vehicles, the basic technology can likely be tweaked to work with the passenger cars that fill the highways of the nation.