Army Tests More Fuel-Efficient Humvees

The U.S. Army is looking for a few more miles to the gallon, and a new troop carrier that might replace the famed gas-hungry Humvee could get as much as 70% better fuel economy.

Specifically, the Army is working with Ricardo Inc., an engineering firm based in the U.K. but with U.S. offices, on building improved new troop carriers. The goal? According to Ricardo's website, "The goal of the FED program, launched in late 2008, is to improve military vehicle technology, reduce fuel consumption on the battlefield and reduce the nation’s dependence on oil." FED stands for Fuel Efficient Demonstrator.

One result is the FED Alpha, a troop carrier that gets roughly 70% better mileage than the M1114 Hummer, which gets in the neighborhood of 4 mpg. Of course, 70% better than that is not very competitive — it's about 7 mpg — for an average consumer truck, much less a car. An FED Bravo is also being developed and it runs on a hybrid-electric drive. Testing for that version is scheduled for later this year.

According to Talking Points Memo, "Driver cooperation is another important fuel-efficiency factor. As the Army notes in background materials for the FED program, 'even the most advanced fuel economy systems can be undermined by a driver with a lead foot.' To get around that, the Alpha’s gas pedal is designed to vibrate and resist when a driver tries to go faster than the most fuel-efficient maximum speed, though there is an override for emergencies."

Other key improvements, according to TPM:

  • The FED Alpha minimizes excess weight by using aluminum and aluminum alloys in structural elements.
  • Specially treated low-friction parts courtesy of Ricardo.
  • A custom engine, custom transmission and lightweight, high-performance brakes similar to those used in race cars.

While you won't be able to get those specialty parts any time soon, Army officials expect that some of it will make its way into the consumer arena before too long. Even so, the chances of Hummer — once seen as the icon for fuel inefficiency — being resurrected as a consumer brand seem far more remote than that.

By the way, Ricardo is the firm our sister site uses to capture all the testing data at our pickup truck Shootouts. So, we can vouch for them.

A “Green” Humvee is in the Works (Talking Points Memo)


Derrick G

No, it's not anywhere near what a civilian truck can do, but assuming 10,000 miles a year, it's still well over 1,000 gallons saved. Even over a 1,000 miles it's over 100 gallons saved.


Military fuel efficiency isn't measured in miles per gallon, but soldier's lives per mile. Fuel convoys are a constant target for enemies, so more fuel efficient vehicles means fewer convoys, fewer attacks, fewer dead soldiers.

Post a Comment 

Please remember a few rules before posting comments:

  • If you don't want people to see your email address, simply type in the URL of your favorite website or leave the field empty.
  • Do not mention specific car dealers by name. Feel free to mention your city, state and brand.
  • Try to be civil to your fellow blog readers. This blog is not a fan or enthusiast forum, it is meant to help people during the car-buying process and during the time between purchases, so shoppers can keep a pulse on the market.
  • Stay on topic. We want to hear your opinions and thoughts, but please only comment about the specified topic in the blog post.
view posting rules

If you have a TypeKey or TypePad account, please Sign In

Search Results

KickingTires Search Results for

Search Kicking Tires

KickingTires iPhone App