Meet CERV: The military’s mean, green, gunning machine

Recently on display at the Chicago Auto Show, the Army's Clandestine Extended Range Vehicle (CERV) is a green gunning machine meant to make a big impact on the battlefield while making a small impact on the environment.

The United States Army’s Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) were on hand at the recently concluded Chicago Auto Show showing off a vehicle of its own. The Clandestine Extended Range Vehicle (CERV) is an energy-efficient vehicle developed by Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies Worldwide in conjunction with TARDEC.

Quantum, which specializes in natural gas, hydrogen, and hybrid vehicle technologies, gave show attendees a glimpse of the CERV. The company states that the CERV will save both money and soldiers lives (although we can’t quite discern how it is able to save lives exactly), while the U.S Army has labeled the CERV as one of the “greenest technologies.”

According to Quantum and Tardec, these lightweight vehicles were developed with the intention of making a big impact on the battlefield while making a small impact on the environment. The CERV prototype is a diesel-hybrid that utilizes Quantum’s “Q-Force” powertrain and can achieve a top speed of 80 miles per hour with silent run capabilities of eight miles, which we assume refers to the vehicles total electric range of eight miles.

On top of being green, CERV is also surprisingly powerful. With its lightweight chassis, CERV is able to climb 60-percent gradients and produce torque in excess of 5,000 foot-pounds.

Of course all that power won’t account for much if it constantly has to refuel while out in the field, which is why CERV is also efficient. The eco-friendly transport consumes up to 25-percent less fuel compared to other vehicles its size. According to a recent Army Energy Security Task Force report, even a one percent increase in fuel economy can result in 6,444 fewer soldier trips on fuel convoys.

So while the CERV might be mean to its enemies – that top mounted gun probably doesn’t help make it any friends – at least it’s relatively kind to the environment.

“Quantum’s high efficiency powertrain technologies help to save fuel, while enhancing vehicle performance and versatility,” said Alan P. Niedzwiecki, President and CEO of Quantum. “Our new generation powertrains are ideal to support tactical operations in both urban and un-urban environments across the broad range of U.S. military operations and terrain profiles, for direct action, reconnaissance, and unconventional warfare and counter terrorism.”

Currently, CERV is still undergoing further testing around the country with no concrete word on when or if it will make it through to further field testing.