DETROIT -- General Motors is holding talks with the U.S. Army about evaluating and adopting the company's new hydrogen fuel cell platform for military use.
The automaker said Friday that the discussions with the Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center about the Silent Utility Rover Universal Superstructure platform could be "a next step of the broader collaboration to evaluate fuel cell technology for future military applications."
SURUS is a flexible fuel cell-powered, four-wheel concept with autonomous capabilities. It is based on a heavy-duty truck frame and designed as a "foundation" for a new generation of commercial vehicles that leverages a single propulsion system integrated into a common chassis, according to officials.
"This is our commercial fuel cell solution that we think will solve real-world, near-term problems," Charlie Freese, GM executive director of global fuel cell business, told media Monday during a preview of SURUS. The platform will be on display at the fall meeting of the Association of the U.S. Army next week in Washington, D.C.
Outside military solutions, GM is evaluating SURUS for a wide-range of applications such as freight; mobile and emergency backup power generation; light- and medium-duty trucks; and emergency rescue vehicles such as ambulances and others used in disaster-relief efforts, helping reduce human exposure to harm.
The fuel cell system, according to GM, boasts a range of more than 400 miles. SURUS is about 16.5 feet long and 7.5 feet wide.
A GM spokeswoman declined to disclose specific details about the discussions or development time frame of SURUS, noting it was being developed "with target commercial markets in mind."
"The platform is still in development," she wrote in an email to Automotive News. "We do not confirm timings or details of future product."