Truck YeahThe trucks are good!  

This mean green machine creatively named the "Ultra Light Vehicle" (ULV) might be America's next go-to Army truck, and it's propelled by a Subaru diesel-electric hybrid engine.

In 2010, the Secretary of Defense commissioned the Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) to build a new lightweight runabout for America's military.

This year, prototypes have been running around Nevada and Maryland. This month, ballistic and explosive testing begins: the vehicles in the video will be shot at and blown up. A third prototype will be retained for future testing, presumably if the two used for target practice perform adequately.

Weighing in at 13,916 pounds, the term "lightweight" is obviously relative. Under the hood a Subaru boxer turbodiesel makes 175 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque, which is supplemented by two Remy-410HVH HT electric drive motors.


Electric power comes from a Navitas Li-Iron Phosphate Battery with 14.2 kWh capacity, putting out 180 kW of peak power and 65 kW of continuous power. An UQM-200 Power Phase Generator and Inverter with 200 kW of peak power provides charge to the batteries and onboard equipment.

TARDEC reports the truck will be capable of 21 miles travel in silent full-electric mode, for a total range of 337 miles at 35 MPH on flat ground.


Off-road prowess looks impressive; the truck will be able to climb a 60% grade and drive across a 40% side slope, with an 18 inch vertical step.

The suspension has 18 inches of travel, and tires will be 40X14.5R20LT Mickey Thompson Baja ATZ Radials.


According to, the Secretary's requirements for the ULV include a vehicle weight of 14,000 pounds, 4,500 pounds in payload capacity, and a price of $250,000 per unit with an initial production run of 5,000.

The design was also mandated to be based around ballistic defense a la the MRAP, part of the reason electric motors were utilized to eliminate a driveshaft. The ULV's undercarriage is robust and shaped to deflect explosions from below, one of the chief weaknesses of the the HUMVEE realized in recent military operations.

This iteration of the ULV is not necessarily the Army's final choice, but it is a strong indicator of where small military vehicles are heading.