Electric What?

A week or so ago, I heard that Elon Musk would do business with the Defense Department by helping to build things for national defense.  At first, though grateful, I didn’t think much of it.  To be sure, he is already building rockets, but those have no direct military purpose.

Then the thought occurred to me that he might build electric powered tanks, you know, the things that run around with big guns on them.  If such a vehicle could be built that would have a range of three or four hundred miles, it would have many advantages.

First they would be quiet.  A track version would make hardly any noise, only the track itself.  If a wheel version were built, it would make no noise at all.  Talk about sneaking up on someone.

Second, it would neither need an intake for the motor nor an exhaust.  It would mean it could operate almost anywhere, even submersed under shallow water.  Naturally, there would have to be an air supply for the crew, but that would hardly be a problem.  It also means that the tank would be, to some degree, NBC proof (nuclear, biological and chemical).

Reliability would be a big factor, as long as the batteries were reliable.  Electric motors can be built that last just almost last forever.  Diesel and jet engines can be very expensive to maintain.  Worse, repairing them can take a long time.  The electric motors are inexpensive, small and easily replaced.  If repair is desired, that is usually simple too.

I am not totally sold on the idea, but, if anyone builds them, we should.  Maybe it is worth a little research.  Maybe for the rest of the military vehicles too.  I understand those Teslas can really move out.  Can you imagine an army that can move along at over a hundred miles an hour, without making much noise.

I would hate to think that we don’t make them and the bad guys do.  I would hate to put our soldiers in such a position.