Meet SURUS, GM’s New Flexible, Autonomous Fuel Cell Electric Platform

General Motors is trying to solve the toughest transportation challenges. 

Be it natural disasters, convoluted logistics, or war, the company’s Silent Utility Rover Universal Superstructure (SURUS) aims to be a universal solution. SURUS makes use of GM’s new Hydrotec fuel cell system, autonomous capabilities, coupled with a commercial truck chassis in order to offer a zero-emission propulsion solution which will reduce human exposure to risk. GM says benefits include “quiet and odor-free operation, off-road mobility, field configuration, instantaneous high torque, exportable power generation, water generation and quick refueling times.”

The SURUS platform includes a pair of advanced electric drive units, a lithium-ion battery, gen 2 fuel cell, hydrogen storage for more than 400 miles of range, GM truck chassis components, and an advanced suspension system. The company says SURUS could be adapted for flexible cargo delivery, mobile emergency backup power generation, commercial freight, or various military applications. SURUS will offer the ability to operate multiple vehicles in a leader-follower configuration.

GM also claims SURUS is a flexible architecture that can be scaled to work for vehicles with large payload demands or operate over long distances. It’s believed SURUS will form the foundation of an entire family of commercial vehicle solutions.

“SURUS redefines fuel cell electric technology for both highway and off-road environments,” said Charlie Freese, executive director of GM Global Fuel Cell Business. “General Motors is committed to bringing new high-performance, zero-emission systems to solve complex challenges for a variety of customers.

GM is currently evaluating the viability of its Hydrotec technology with the US Military. Hydrogen power offers better acoustic non-detection and a reduced heat signature, which will allow vehicles to get closer to targets with less risk. Testing will continue through spring 2018.