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US Navy Destroyers to Receive Hybrid Electric Drives

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As we pointed out very recently, hybrid and electric cars are growing slowly and steadily. However, there is one vehicle manufacturer that we didn’t particularly expect to adopt hybrid engine technology: The US Navy.

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Apparently, in an effort to make Destroyer less expensive to operate, the Navy will be installing hybrid electric drive systems across its 30 newest Arleigh Burke-class destroyers (and four already-existing ships in Spain). These engines will be capable of propelling the ships at speeds below 13 knots. Above that speed the gas turbine becomes more efficient, so the ship will run on traditional gas power.

Basically, this will improve Destroyer range greatly—the Navy estimates that, if using this system about half the time, the destroyer will be able to go 2.5 extra days between refueling, saving thousands of barrels of fuel.

For the ships docked in Spain, this will also help to power the Navy’s new SeaRam point defense systems, which will help the destroyers detect incoming cruise missiles and aircraft.

After 2016, four ships per year will be fitted with the technology.

It seems unclear what will power these electrical systems, but if plugged in to a 120V outlet, we can only imagine  the insane charging times.

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News Source: Jalopnik