Wars are an expensive affair. Not only each soldier is precious for an army, but also each barrel of fuel expended in war. US army had to face heat in its recent wars against the likes of Iraq and Afghanistan making fuel convoys a must. We can ascertain the amount of fuel expended by the army from the figures that say 90 percent of federal government's energy is consumed by the army that also accounts for 2 percent of energy consumption in US. Combat vehicles also carry the responsibility to keep their soldiers safe and in the process vehicles become heavier.
The laboratory is spread across an area of 32000 sq-ft in Warren, Michigan. According to the sources the lab will be able to simulate extreme of weather conditions, which includes the deserts of Afghanistan and glaciers of Antarctica. It is named as, Ground Systems Power and Energy and will house eight different labs under the same roof. Research will be conducted in different areas related to these vehicles, which include heating and cooling, use of fuel cells or power hybrids, use of more advanced batteries as well more efficient air filters. Army officials said that they would collaborate with engineers from leading automakers.
This looks like one of the steps following Obama's promise to make US army "greener". Apparently, the army is also planning to produce about 3 GW of energy by 2025 with renewable sources. Steps like this though are a way to the future with governments becoming more energy conscious, while research collaboration between army and auto-industry would lend both parties the essential technical know-how of each other's vehicles.