Oct. 24 (UPI) -- BAE Systems plans to invest $4 million to develop safer, eco-friendly rechargeable electric propulsion systems, the company announced Wednesday at Euronaval 2018, an international naval defense event in Paris.
The company said it will build on work done for electric cars, and that their work is expected to "signal a new generation of propulsion systems for a broad range of defense applications."
The contractor will build a new testing and integration laboratory at its Broad Oak site in Portsmouth, England. The new propulsion systems will borrow from the same technology BAE used to produce electric drive systems for hybrid buses in London, Hong Kong and other major cities.
By 2017, BAE Systems had powered approximately 7,000 buses with its hybrid propulsion system, according to the company.
'"Our aim is to develop the next generation electric propulsion system which will be cleaner, greener, safer, more powerful, longer lasting, rechargeable and, in some cases, even able to operate underwater," Clare Gribby, project manager at BAE Systems, said in a press release.
Gribby says BAE has already invested $1.3 million into concept and design work and will hit the building and integration phase of a demonstrator by early 2019.
BAE expects to have the demonstrator up and running by September 2020.