When it comes to building vehicles for the US military, General Motors is one of the largest suppliers. They built the Humvee and GM Duramax engines power tons of different military vehicles. The hydrogen-powered Colorado ZH2 received a massive amount of attention and is currently in limited use with the military. Hydrogen powered vehicles are silent which is great for stealthy missions, plus they don’t put out any emissions.
GM’s new defense division, simply named GM Defense, has revealed yet another hydrogen-powered truck. This new truck is basically a giant platform which can be used for a ton of different purposes. Silent Utility Rover Universal Superstructure (SURUS) is designed to be completely autonomous and the platform is large enough for a standard sized cargo container. SURUS is also designed to be modular, it could be a troop transport, military ambulance, mobile power generation or anything else that GM thinks of.
SURUS uses GM’s Hydrotec fuel cell powertrain, which is similar to the system used in the Colorado ZH2. In case you’re unaware, a hydrogen fuel cell converts hydrogen gas into electricity. This effectively makes the hydrogen storage on board a way to store energy for the electric drivetrain. In combination with Hydrotec, SURUS uses two electric drive units, a lithium-ion battery, and 400 miles worth of hydrogen storage, four-wheel steering, and an advanced suspensions setup.
It’s still unknown if GM Defense will take this concept into reality, but the real world potential of this truck is impressive. Combining a hydrogen fuel cell with an autonomous workhorse is pretty exciting.