Having already been picked in July to supply a GMC Hummer EV to the U.S. Army for evaluation purposes, General Motors has now been chosen by the Department of Defense to develop a battery to test in the Department’s electric-vehicle platforms.
In an announcement made last week, GM Defense, GM’s division responsible for military products, said it will leverage the company’s Ultium battery technology found in civilian vehicles like the Hummer EV, as well as the Cadillac Lyriq and Chevrolet’s upcoming Blazer EV and Equinox EV, to develop a prototype battery that meets the requirements of the Department of Defense’s Defense Innovation Unit.
The unit was established in 2015 to tap advanced commercial technologies to help accelerate development of products for the military. It’s now seeking to develop a scalable battery that can be used in tactical military vehicles.
GM’s Ultium battery technology offers many benefits. In addition to already having been extensively tested in GM’s own vehicles, the modular and scalable design of Ultium batteries make them suitable for a wide variety of vehicle types. Adding to their flexibility is the possibility for different chemistries, which can be suited to various requirements, such as a high power discharge, fast charge speed, or long range.
The Department of Defense is seeking to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels and is looking at more solutions than battery technology alone. It is also evaluating vehicles powered by hydrogen fuel cells. GM Defense previously supplied the U.S. Army with a Chevrolet Colorado concept vehicle equipped with a fuel cell. With both technologies, near-silent operation could provide benefits in the field.