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GM Talking With US Army about Developing New Fuel-Cell Vehicle

The SURUS platform is equally well-suited for adaptation to military environments where users can take advantage of flexible energy resources, field configurability and improved logistical characteristics.

GM is looking to solve some of the world’s toughest transportation challenges with the help of their flexible autonomous fuel cell platform, dubbed the Silent Utility Rover Universal Superstructure, or SURUS.

SURUS will make its public debut at the fall meeting of the Association of the United States Army on October 9.

The Army has been testing the fuel cell-powered Chevrolet Colorado ZH2 on USA bases for the past six months to determine the viability of hydrogen-powered vehicles in military-mission tactical environments.

SURUS redefines fuel cell electric technology for both highway and off-road environments“, said Charlie Freese, GM’s global head of fuel cell development.

GM announced SURUS on Tuesday as part of its plans to introduce 20 all-electric passenger vehicles by 2023. It is driven by two electric motors and features four-wheel steering.

GM has unveiled a new fuel-cell platform specifically created to be a flexible chassis that can serve both commercial and military needs for a versatile zero-emissions truck.

In the meantime, the Army has been testing the Colorado in off-road conditions, evaluating power generation, reduced odor, acoustic and thermal signatures, high wheel torque, extended operating range and potential use of the byproduct water: all vital controllables for future military vehicles. Given the SURUS’ Hydrotec fuel-cell system, it can also be used as a mobile power generator to provide electricity as needed in remote locations, with the benefit of doing it far more quietly and with far fewer gas and heat emissions than a diesel generator.

Military testing has already shown that the ZH2 has a detection distance that is reduced by 90 percent compared to conventional vehicles, meaning the hydrogen-powered pickup can get ten times closer to its target. Last year, the U.S. Navy unveiled a GM fuel cell-powered Unmanned Undersea Vehicle (UUV) for testing purposes that leverages GM fuel cell technology common with the Colorado ZH2.

GM says SURUS has a range of more than 400 miles and is about 16.5 feet long and 7.5 feet wide.

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