The Department of Defense (DoD) has issued a solicitation for a Tactical Range Extender Enhancer for future electric vehicles.
The US military engages in operations far from the US, making expansive—and expensive—logistics tails necessary in order to operate effectively. The US Department of Defense expects that in the future it will likely operate in distant and dispersed locations and may face increased threats and obstacles to logistical supply lines unencountered in the previous half-century.
As such, the DoD is focusing on reducing demand on the supply system in order to maintain complete operational ability to meet any mission. Currently, one of the major components and consumers of the logistic footprint is liquid fuel necessary to power equipment such as tactical vehicles.
Future fleets of tactical vehicles may largely incorporate battery electric drivetrains. However, vehicles with only a single all-electric, battery-driven powertrain create range and recharging obstacles because of the inability to package the required amount of energy storage on board an existing tactical vehicle.
With the solicitation, DoD is seeking a commercial solution that would extend the range of its future fleet of ground vehicles that use a single all-electric powertrain. This would allow for a fleet that offers reduced fuel consumption and achieves the desired range and mobility, along with increased on-board and export generation.
The all-in-one range extender unit must use internally stored or externally fed aviation turbine fuel and convert to high-voltage DC power to charge the vehicle’s propulsion energy storage system. The system should also provide the necessary components to convert liquid hydrocarbon fuel into electrical energy and deliver it to the government-supplied vehicle energy storage system; and be able to integrate with a vehicle platform mounting provisions, electrical systems, communication systems, and fuel systems.
The system must be able to operate both on-vehicle or in a dismounted configuration. This includes:
The ability to operate in a stationary condition to act as a high-voltage DC fast-charging station for ground vehicles under a continuous duty cycle; and
Unit compliance with Tactical Microgrid Standards (TMS) protocol (Mil-Std-3071).
The unit must also include capability to offer flash upgradeable software drops as capabilities improve/change; must communicate via SAE J1939 CAN; and must include a display with embedded software for dismounted operations.
The complete solution should be packageable into a single unit for widespread distribution and ease of installation into Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) future product lines.
The range extender unit must include all of the required equipment for operation to include, but not limited to: combustion engine, generator, controller, interface connections (fuel, power, communications), on-board fuel, cooling system and starting.
Responses are due by 22 August 2023.