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General Motors is planning to help the US military become kinder and gentler towards the planet by producing a military prototype based on the forthcoming Hummer EV.
The so-called “electric Light Reconnaissance Vehicle,” or eLRV is being developed for use by the Army according to GM Defense President Steve duMont.
“The Army’s very excited about the fact that we’re investing in this,” he told CNBC during an interview at the automaker’s technology campus in Warren, Michigan.
“The eLRV, that’s the first purpose-built from the ground up, you saw it today, it’s our Hummer EV. Our Hummer EV is what we’re going to base that vehicle on.”
GM plans to use a modify components of the Hummer EV in its new military truck. According to CNBC the frame, motors, and GM’s proprietary Ultium batteries will all be carried over and tweaked to meet military demands.
This, of course, is familiar territory for the Hummer brand. After all, the original Hummer H1 was essentially a military vehicle given some very light tweaks for road use. The subsequent Hummer H2 and H3 models, on the other hand, were better suited to freeways rather than the frontlines.
duMont’s comments followed a visit by Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks to GM’s Technical Center. As well as touring GM’s Estes Engineering Center, the largest battery validation lab in North America, Hicks also got a chance to drive GM’s new nine-soldier all-terrain Infantry Squad Vehicle, which is based on the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 – though sadly this vehicle isn’t electric.
duMont says that GM’s planned $35 billion investment in electric and autonomous technologies through 2025 will help the armed forces transition to a more eco-friendly organisation.
“GM Defense has a tremendous opportunity to leverage our parent company’s investments in advanced battery technologies and adapt them to meet defense requirements,” says duMont.
“The more we can adapt existing commercial technology, the faster we can modernize warfighter capabilities and quickly deliver technology at the speed of relevance.”
The US government seems to be all-in on EVs, however.
“You don’t need to sell me,” she told duMont during a tour of GM’s battery lab. Later adding, “We are very sold.”
Of course, quite how the US military plans to recharge its vehicles on the ground, is another matter entirely.
“Electrifying the non-tactical fleet, that’s a no-brainer,” Hicks said in an emailed statement to CNBC. ” With the tactical fleet, it’s about this issue of how we move forward, and the capabilities we gain.”