SURUS enables a driving range exceeding 400 miles (644 km)
General Motors is exploring a fuel cell vehicle platform with autonomous capabilities, the automaker announced today. In the future, the platform could underpin everything from commercial trucks, light- and medium-duty trucks, and military vehicles.
SURUS, short for Silent Utility Rover Universal Superstructure, features two electric drive units, a next-generation fuel cell system, and a lithium-ion battery. Its hydrogen storage system gives a compatible vehicle more than 400 miles (644 km) of range. The platform uses truck chassis components and offers four-wheel steering for improved maneuverability. GM says the platform can be adapted for land, sea, and air applications. Given that it supports autonomous driving, the vehicle could reduce the amount of manpower needed in dangerous situations.
Why might fuel cells make good military vehicles? GM says the quiet operation, lack of odor, instantaneous high torque, water generation, and low heat signature of the SURUS fuel cell system gives it an advantage over other types of vehicles. And this isn’t the first time GM has worked on fuel cell technology for military applications. The Army is now running tests on the hydrogen-powered Chevrolet Colorado ZH2, and so far, so good. Acoustic tests show the vehicle can get 10 times closer to its target without being detected compared to current military vehicles. Using technology from the Colorado ZH2, GM has also provided a fuel cell system for an Unmanned Undersea Vehicle being tested by the Navy.
When it comes to more conventional vehicles, GM is making a big push toward electrification. By 2023, GM will have introduced at least 20 new all-electric vehicles. Two of these will arrive within the next 18 months and will be based off knowledge GM gained from the Bolt.