The future is electric at General Motors, but fuel cells will play an integral role into the automaker’s zero-emission strategy. Today, GM revealed SURUS – its latest fuel-cell project, which aims to tackle the commercial and military sectors. General Motors just filed a trademark application to register the name, as first discovered by GM Authority.
The GM SURUS, which stands for Silent Utility Rover Universal Superstructure, is a concept for a flexible commercial fuel-cell platform with self-driving capabilities. At its core, it boasts GM truck chassis components, two electric drive units, the automaker’s second-generation Hydrotec fuel-cell system and an “advanced” suspension.
Foremost, SURUS is a solution for larger vehicles with hefty payloads. The fuel-cell system coupled with SURUS is capable of more than 400 miles of range. It’s important to reiterate that SURUS is not a vehicle itself, but a platform for a family of future fuel-cell vehicles.
GM envisions SURUS to underpin a variety of vehicles such as light- and medium-duty commercial trucks, ambulances, freight vehicles and the platform is adaptable for military vehicles. The single fuel-cell propulsion system fits all scales of SURUS, no matter the application.
On the military front, GM says SURUS provides the capability and longevity needed in unpredictable terrain. Stemming from GM’s experience with the Chevrolet Colorado ZH2, a fuel-cell-powered truck testing with the U.S. Military, the SURUS platform provides unique benefits in the field. The fuel cell keeps heat signatures to a minimum, and the vehicle can travel further before being detected, thanks to near-silent operation.
GM says the Colorado ZH2 reduced acoustic non-detection distance by 90 percent compared to current military vehicle in operation. This means the ZH2 can get 10 times closer before being detected. Testing of the fuel-cell pickup will continue through spring 2018.
The automaker will display SURUS at the fall meeting of the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) from Oct. 9-11, 2017, after GM revealed SURUS as a key part of its future electrification strategy. GM future electric car plans include introducing 20 new battery-electric vehicles by 2023 and SURUS is poised to be a key part of its strategy in the future.