GM supplying batteries to the military for evaluation of future platforms


GM supplying batteries to the military for evaluation of future platforms

  • The U.S. military is evaluating EV batteries from GM
  • The military’s looking at how to handle its energy-storage needs
  • The project will potentially lead to pathways for domestically supplied energy storage for the military

General Motors is supplying EV batteries for a military research project.

The automaker’s GM Defense subsidiary is providing Ultium battery hardware to the University of Texas at Arlington’s Pulsed Power and Energy Laboratory for a Defense Department-funded evaluation that “will help provide pathways and options for domestically supplied energy storage for use in future military platforms,” according to a GM press release.

General Motors Ultium batteries

The project will look at any design changes needed to make the Ultium hardware suitable to the military’s energy-storage needs. GM claims a high degree of modularity that can accommodate different chemistries and cell types for uses beyond the current EV applications. That fits with GM CEO Mary Barra’s 2023 statement that the automaker is flexible on battery cells, and could shift to cylindrical cells in the future.

GM was already looking at ways to utilize Ultium for stationary energy storage in the civilian world. The automaker is marketing an Ultium-based home backup power system, part of a new GM Energy business announced in 2022.

General Motors Ultium batteries

General Motors Ultium batteries

GM Defense previously supplied a prototype Ultium-based battery system for another Defense Department project, which also involved integration of a GM battery pack “into a light tactical vehicle,” the release noted.

In 2021, GM Defense president Steve duMont said in an interview that GM planned to build prototypes of an electric military vehicle based on the civilian GMC Hummer EV, using the civilian Hummer’s frame, motors, and battery system, but with stripped-down bodywork. That follows the template of GM Defense’s Infantry Squad Vehicle, which is based on the previous-generation Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 pickup truck.

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