Army tests new special ops hybrid vehicle

The hybrid "Clandestine Extended Range Vehicle" does 80 mph, climbs hills, and serves as a high-speed weapons platform--all while cutting fuel consumption, according to the Army.

Mark Rutherford
The military establishment's ever increasing reliance on technology and whiz-bang gadgetry impacts us as consumers, investors, taxpayers and ultimately as the defended. Our mission here is to bring some of these products and concepts to your attention based on carefully selected criteria such as importance to national security, originality, collateral damage to the treasury and adaptability to yard maintenance-but not necessarily in that order. E-mail him at markr@milapp.com. Disclosure.
Mark Rutherford
2 min read


The U.S. Army is testing a new diesel hybrid vehicle called the Clandestine Extended Range Vehicle (CERV) designed for quick-paced special operations-type missions such as reconnaissance, surveillance, and targeting--all the while conserving fuel.

The vehicle was developed jointly by Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies Worldwide and the U.S. Army's Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) National Automotive Center, with funding support through the U.S. Special Operations Command.

The CERV pairs the Quantum's new "Q-Force" advanced all-wheel-drive diesel hybrid electric power train with a light-weight chassis to produce a torque rating that exceeds 5,000 foot-pounds. The unit can maintain speeds of 80 miles per hour and climb 60 percent grades--all while reducing fuel consumption by up to 25 percent compared to a conventional alternative, according to the company. The CERV is fitted with a distinctive weapons ring that allows gunners to deliver a high rate of fire while traveling at high speeds through rough terrain (PDF).

"In keeping with the nation's interest in pursuing an agenda that promotes energy security while increasing fuel efficiency and use of alternate sources of power, TARDEC is fully engaged in ambitious programs that push development of hybrid electric vehicles for U.S. military use," according to Army product literature.

Quantum may be best known for its gasoline plug-in hybrid, called the Q-Drive, and the Fisker Karma four-door sports sedan, developed by Fisker Automotive, a company co-founded by Quantum and Henrik Fisker.

I am excited about our "new military special operations vehicle that is well-positioned to create another highly fuel-efficient and powerful platform that improves the military's tactical capabilities," said Quantum CEO and President Alan P. Niedzwiecki. "We believe that the CERV program offers innovative solutions to meet the mission of the national defense effort, while reducing the fuel logistic burden."