Militarized Chevy Bolt, anyone?
GM Defense is the military product division of General Motors that focuses on defense industry needs with "advanced mobility technologies" that include electrification and hydrogen fuel cell technology. Projects that already exist include SURUS (Silent Utility Rover Universal Superstructure), a joint project to create an autonomous modular platform with the United States Army, and the stealthy Colorado ZH2 trucks. They run on hydrogen fuel cells and boast, amongst other things, clandestine operation, the ability to double as power generators, and clean drinking water coming out the tailpipe. Now though, General Motors sees even more opportunity for its electric vehicle and autonomous technology in military applications.
Currently, GM Defense is pushing for a contract to build 2,065 Infantry Squad Vehicles over the next decade. According to a report from the Detroit Free Press quoting David Albritton, president of GM Defense, vehicles like the Infantry Squad would eventually be electric. While the move to electrification is many years out, the advantages in the battlefield include: providing more power on lighter platforms, being quiet for stealth operations, a lower thermal watch field to help avoid detection, and telematics to aid navigation secured communications, and tracking the vehicles' "health."
Stepping up to hydrogen fuel cell technology would also be able to comfortably power laser weaponry and active protection systems on vehicles, and offer portable power for other power-hungry equipment. Also, we assume, continue to supply clean drinking water from the tailpipe. "But in the interim, having a hybridized solution of diesel and electric is definitely very feasible and a solution we're already working on with the Chevy Bolt, but in a militarized sense," said Albritton.
While military trucks are cool and GM Defense is working on commercial vehicles that can save military lives from improvised explosive devices, we desperately also want to see what a militarized Chevy Bolt actually looks like.