Volcon to work with U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center
11 October 2023
Ensuring microgrid compatability one of the goals of program
Volcon Inc., an all-electric, off-road powersports company based in Texas, has signed a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, Construction Engineering Research Laboratory (ERDC). Volcon said the collaboration marks a significant step forward in the development of EV technology for both civilian and military applications.
Under the terms of this CRADA, Volcon and ERDC will collaborate on research and development efforts aimed at enhancing the capabilities of electric vehicles, with a focus on creating dual-use products that benefit both warfighters and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) in their support of emergency services disaster response.
Key objectives include:
- Energy management: Volcon will provide technical expertise to improve energy management in electric vehicles, including measurement, monitoring, range extension, and export power processes and procedures.
- Compatibility with microgrid technology: The collaboration will work to ensure compatibility with emerging microgrid and electrical infrastructure technologies to create scalable solutions that enhance the adaptability of off-road EVs.
- Enhanced tactical ground vehicles: Volcon aims to develop enhanced tactical ground vehicle applications to support soldiers and emergency responders in their missions.
- Government fleet electrification: The collaboration aligns with the 2022 U.S. Army Climate Strategy and Executive Order 14057, supporting government fleet electrification from the present through 2050.
This agreement represents a significant step toward addressing known challenges in the EV sector, such as remote tactical recharging, vehicle-to-grid, and microgrid charging, and looks to maximize power efficiency while reducing reliance on traditional fuel-based energy generation.
By working together with ERDC, Volcon said it aims to create scalable EV solutions that benefit federal, state, and local governments, as well as the Department of Defense (DoD). The company said the collaboration embodies the spirit of the Federal Technology Transfer Act of 1986 and Army Regulation 70-57, which encourage the private sector to leverage federally funded technology developments for the betterment of the United States.
“We are very excited to be working with the Army Corps. We believe that their decades of experience in engineering solutions for the battlefield will bear real fruit for Volcon in the commercial markets. This agreement is crafted in a way that mutually benefits the parties by creating real-world solutions and product features that can be monetized in the future,” said Jordan Davis, CEO, Volcon, Round Lake, Texas. “On the one hand, we get to play a real role in benefiting the warfighter and humanitarian efforts where our electric vehicles can play a role, all while harvesting technology that may be deployed to commercial segments as well.”
Volcon said its 2023 vehicle roadmap includes motorcycles and UTVs which will hit the market in North America. Its first product, the Grunt motorcycle, has been shipping to customers since late 2021. In March it launched the Grunt EVO motorcycle which is an evolution of the original that uses a Gates Moto X9 belt drive, an improved suspension and seat.
The company assembles its UTVs through a contract manufacturing agreement with Michigan-based GLV Ventures. In August 2022, Volcon announced that it would work to reduce its reliance on components sourced from China, “and will look to consolidate its supply chain to countries friendly to U.S. manufacturers, especially those located in North America.”
The Volcon Stag UTV now uses a significant number of components for its electric propulsion system sourced from General Motors, including the on-board charging module and battery cooling system.
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