GM Outlines Potential for Flexible Autonomous Fuel Cell Platform


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GM's SURUS technology could be adapted for future military use.

Photo Courtesy: General Motors Co.

Detroit automaker General Motors Co. today announced its vision for solving complex transportation problems created by natural disasters, difficult logistics environments, and global conflicts. The company will display its Silent Utility Rover Universal Superstructure (SURUS), a flexible fuel cell electric platform with autonomous capabilities, at the fall meeting of the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) from Oct. 9-11.

SURUS’ commercially designed platform could be adapted for military use, as it utilizes GM’s new Hydrotec fuel system, autonomous capability, and truck chassis components to deliver high-performance, zero-emission propulsion to minimize logistical burdens and reduce human exposure to harm. Additional benefits include quiet and odor-free operation, off-road mobility, field configuration, high torque, exportable power and water generation, and short refueling times.

“SURUS redefines fuel cell electric technology for both highway and off-road environments,” says Charlie Freese, executive director of GM’s global fuel cell business. “General Motors is committed to bringing new high-performance, zero-emission systems to solve complex challenges for a variety of customers.”

Fuel cell technology is a key piece of GM’s zero emission strategy, offering a solution that can scale to larger vehicles with large payload requirements and operate over long distances. SURUS was designed to form a foundation for a line of commercial vehicle solutions that leverage a single propulsion system integrated into a common chassis. If utilized in a military environment, users could use SURUS’ flexible energy resources, field configurability, and improved logistical characteristics.

GM is also evaluating multiple applications for SURUS, including:

  • Utility trucks
  • Mobile and emergency backup power generation
  • Flexible cargo delivery systems
  • Commercial freight
  • Light- and medium-duty trucks, improving upon the Chevrolet Colorado ZH2 that has been evaluated by the U.S. military under guidance of the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) and is undergoing testing on bases
  • Future military-specific configurations

Drawing on more than 50 years of research and development, the SURUS commercial platform’s scalable and adaptable technology enables land, sea, and air applications across commercial and military environments.

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