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FTTS Army Hybrid
This International-built hybrid-electric combat vehicle is part of a US$60 million "Future Tactical Truck System" (FTTS) evaluation program being conducted by the U.S. Pentagon. The 18,500 pound ( kg) truck is powered by a hybrid-electric engine that is positioned in the rear, allowing more room in the cab. The vehicle utilizes four-wheel steering for enhanced maneuverability, including the ability to drive sideways. A remote weapons system is mounted on the roof.

Are EVs the Ultimate Weapon Against Terrorism?

Part 5 in the EV Basics Series

By Forbes Bagatelle-Black

The EV Basics Series:

  • EV Basics I – A Tale of Two Hybrids
  • EV Basics II – An Electric Vehicle Primer
  • EV Basics III – Why Drive Electric?
  • EV Basics IV - Electric Vehicles and the Environment
  • Important Acronyms and Definitions:
    Dove: A politician who favors peaceful resolution of conflicts

    EV: Electric Vehicle – Any vehicle that uses electricity to provide some or all of the power to its wheels.

    Hawk: A politician who tends to look for military solutions to political problems.

    We live in a polarized nation.

    Millions of people passionately believe that our current military action in Iraq is absolutely necessary to preserve our national security. Millions of other people believe, with equal passion, that the situation in Iraq threatens not only our national security but the political stability of the entire globe.

    Many feel that the money we are spending on our current military actions is a small amount compared to what we would be spending if we allowed the situation to go out of control. Others feel that the hundreds of billions of dollars we are spending are only making the situation worse by allowing us to remain entrenched in a conflict we cannot win.

    But there is one idea that is garnering increasing support from hawks and doves alike; our nation will be safer when everyone starts driving electric vehicles. EVs will increase our self-sufficiency by allowing us to use domestically-produced energy to fuel our automobiles. A dramatic decrease in our demand for foreign oil would cut off the cash flow to terrorist organizations bent on the destruction of our society. Since EVs can run on renewable power sources, widespread use of them could eliminate the threat of global warming, which would eliminate the associated threats of natural disasters and the political upheaval such disasters would create.

    The logic behind these ideas is simple and powerful enough to convince people from groups as diverse as the Green Party and the “inner circle” of George W. Bush’s cabinet that our reliance on foreign oil is a security issue we can no longer ignore.

    Most readers will not be surprised to learn that James Woolsey, former Director of the CIA and a firm supporter of our current military action in Iraq , made the following statement, “The problem is that we are at war with a fanatical enemy that has lots of patience and wants to destroy not only our infrastructure, but us. We are not in uncharted waters; we have been in major wars before. It’s just that the weapons have been different. We were not dealing with religious fanatics who were willing to wait 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 years or the rest of their lives in order to strike a body blow at our economy and our survival.”

    However, many readers may be surprised that, at the same event, Woolsey made this comment as well, “If you want to get decisive things done quickly in the midst of a war… encourage hybrids and high-grade diesels and plug-in hybrids and alternative fuels.”

    The event was the “Oil Shockwave,” a simulation project designed to test America’s ability to withstand severe disruptions in our oil supply created by terrorist attacks and other causes. It was held in Washington DC in June, 2005. The participants included Woolsey, Robert M. Gates (who currently serves as the U.S. Secretary of Defense) and a host of other policy experts from various branches of government.

    In her book Plug-In Hybrids, the Cars That Will Recharge America, author Sherry Boschert describes the event in detail. While no firm policy decisions were made at the event, all participants came away from it with a clear understanding that our reliance on foreign oil funds terrorists who are committed to destroying our society, weakens our nation economically and politically, and could cause a severe disaster when our oil supply is disrupted to any significant extent. Furthermore, they learned that if we start driving EVs as soon as possible, these calamities can be averted.

    Other security benefits related to domestically-produced energy are equally clear. Most obvious amongst these is the fact that if every locality produces its own power, then a disruption in the energy pipeline on the other side of the globe will not cause a local energy crisis.

    Furthermore, if our need for oil were no longer a “bargaining chip” in our foreign policy relationships with oil-rich countries, we would not be forced to take compromise positions on matters such as human rights, environmental destruction or genocide.

    Finally, if we replace fossil fuels with renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar, we can eliminate the environmental disasters caused by the extrication, transportation and usage of these fossil fuels.

    The most tragic element of Hurricane Katrina was the death and human suffering it caused, but it also caused massive economic upheaval and political unrest. Imagine the implications of environmental changes which could make Katrina look like a minor weather hiccup! If rising sea levels, massive storm fronts and devastating droughts result in large-scale refugee displacement, famine and/or the collapse of our transportation and communications infrastructure, then our entire socio-political system will be put in jeopardy. We have the power to prevent these disasters – we just need the political will to make the right choices. One of the choices we need to make is the adoption of oil-free transportation, such as EVs.

    Finally, if we look into the future, we must realize that our oil supply will eventually run out. If we are unprepared for this eventuality, disaster will occur. Without a steady flow of oil, our current society would lose its ability to transport goods, heat homes and grow crops in adequate quantities to feed our population. If these catastrophes come to pass, civilization as we know it could come to a grinding halt. On the other hand, if we use our remaining oil supply, slowly and wisely, as an means of creating a sustainable energy infrastructure, we can prepare for the transition to an oil-free world without undo hardship or political chaos.

    We understand the technologies necessary to make this infrastructure a reality, and EVs will play an important role in the patchwork of oil-free energy solutions. Once again, we just need to have the will.

    Times Article Viewed: 12684
    Published: 02-Jan-2008

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