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Canadian firm builds all-electric vehicles for U.S. tank program

Aug. 24, 2010 at 3:43 PM   |   Comments

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Aug. 24 (UPI) -- Canada's Rapid Electric Vehicles is building a wholly electric ancillary power vehicle that will serve in the U.S. Army as part of its Tank Automotive Research Development Engineering Center program.

The contract is part of an overall U.S. Defense Department strategy for energy security with its focus on ways to reduce dependence on fossil fuel, especially in battle situations.

REV was awarded the contract to provide what will be the first ancillary power vehicle of its kind.

Production of the APV units commissioned by the Army has already begun at REV's Vancouver headquarters. REV called the vehicle a "revolutionary new automotive solution."

The 100 percent electric vehicle features bidirectional charging and is part of the U.S. Army TARDEC Micro-Grid contract.

REV was contracted to undertake testing and demonstration of a Micro-Grid at Wheeler Air Force Base, Hawaii.

Production began in the spring and will incorporate three REV 300ACXs and one REV 300AZX based on the best-selling Ford Escape and Ford F150 platforms, the company said.

Both are specialized 100 percent electric light-duty fleet vehicles designed to increase the security, reliability and efficiency of the electric grid. They combine proprietary propulsion, power management and mobile communication technologies developed by REV.

The vehicles are propelled by 125 kilowatt permanent magnet AC motor and gearbox drive systems that deliver 221 foot-pounds of torque to the wheels. The foot-pound force is a unit of energy moving through a distance of one foot.

REV said that when combined with its wireless networked energy storage system, the vehicle's drive system can convert utility and fleet vehicles into 100 percent electric APVs, displacing the high environmental and economic costs of fossil fuel use.

In addition, fleets can interact with the APVs in real time and rely on their combined energy storage for fast-response backup power in the event of damaged transformers, broken power lines or large spikes in demand.

The Micro-Grid to be built as part of the program will be tested to make sure it can accept power from various inputs while charging the vehicles and provide output power to various applications in both AC and DC modes.

The focus of the innovative vehicle, REV said, is "efficient power management, renewable energy integration, energy storage and smart charging of plug-in electric vehicles."

The TARDEC program is one of many partnerships bringing REV's automotive energy efficiency technologies to industries in North America. The Vancouver company develops and delivers high-performance electric vehicles, specializing in vehicle-to-grid networks and bi-directional energy storage systems that support renewable energy production and a reduction of dependence on carbon-intensive sources.

© 2010 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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