Sources inform ''Globes'' that the IDF is considering developing a quiet electric vehicle for carrying troops and cargo and with the capabilities of regular vehicles. The vehicle will have a diesel or gasoline engine to extend its range by hundreds of kilometers when the batteries run out. The IDF is reportedly examining various platforms for the vehicle, including jeeps and dune buggies.
Industry sources believe that Elbit Systems Ltd. (Nasdaq: ESLT; TASE: ESLT) is a leading contender to develop and supply the electric vehicle. In recent years, the company has accumulated extensive experience in the development of electric vehicles and batteries, including electric motors for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). The sources added that an electric vehicle contract could be worth tens of millions of dollars.
The IDF plan is part of a global military trend to develop electric vehicles based on breakthrough battery and efficient electric motor technologies. The Pentagon is running R&D contracts to develop electric and hybrid vehicles of various kinds for operational use.
The Ministry of Defense is also considering applying Better Place's recharging infrastructure at IDF bases, which could be used for the fleet of electric military vehicles, as well as for civilian electric cars when they become available.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on February 1, 2009
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