Autonomous Surus Concept Is A Fuel Cell Truck Fit For Military Use


GM Surus Truck Chassis

The concept was designed with military use in mind.

The future is now, and General Motors – in an effort to keep pace with the technologies of tomorrow – has unveiled a radical new platform dubbed Surus. Surus, which stands for Silent Utility Rover Universal Superstructure, uses a capable truck chassis and comes powered by a Hydrotec fuel-cell system. It even features autonomous capabilities.

GM Surus Truck Chassis

The new Surus concept was developed specifically for military, cargo, and public service use – police, fire, etc. – and comes with standard features like two advanced electric drive units, four-wheel steering, a lithium-ion battery system, a Gen 2 fuel cell system, and more than 400 miles (643 kilometers) of range. The entire platform stretches out to 16.5-feet (5 meters) long, and 7.5-feet (2.3 meters) wide.

Surus will be displayed at the fall meeting of the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) from October 9-11, 2017. Apart from being completely silent, the platform is also completely odor free, and comes with exportable power generation, water generation, and quick refueling times.

GM Surus Truck Chassis

“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 Surus

Together with the Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center, GM hopes that its Surus platform could be “a next step of the broader collaboration to evaluate fuel cell technology for future military applications,” the automaker said in an interview with Automotive News. The platform is currently still in development with no timetable for official production.

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21 Comments on "Autonomous Surus Concept Is A Fuel Cell Truck Fit For Military Use"

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Wait, maybe I missed something related to this. Is that a CCS port? Can the battery be charged by DCFC and fuel cell? Or is there a seperate battery pack that can be charged?

Other than that, this seems like the type of application that Fuel Cells may make more sense.

Considering the military uses around 40% of all the gasoline used by the country, this ought to be a great help to reducing environmental impact and dependence on foreign oil. Add the additional features of silence and autonomy, and Surus has a very strong use case.

Do you have a link that discusses the military gasoline use issue?

I seriously doubt he can back up that assertion. I think the figure is very inflated.

“The DoD’s total primary energy consumption in Fiscal Year 2006 was 1100 trillion Btu. It corresponds to only 1% of total energy consumption in USA.”

However, note that the DoD’s energy use increases substantially when there’s a major war on, such as Gulf War II. But still, according to Mr. Google, the increase is less than a doubling.

What’s with the annoying videos in the side bar that are scrolling my screen without my permission Jay?

Hey Steve,

There should be no such thing. We only allow static ads…that means one of the ad providers has let a bad spot slip through their filters.

If you would be so kind, and if you still are seeing it, take a screen cap (so we can see the placement and ad itself) and sent it to us at:

…and we’ll send a “takedown” to the ad auction house, and make sure to get it removed from the rotation so it won’t bother you (or anyone else) in the future. Our apologies on have to deal with that…we don’t want any intrusive ads to populate at IEV.

I have to agree with Steve: that happens to me, too, but only on my phone. Not sure why, and it happens sporadically. What I do is to reload the page and then stop the loading of the page in “mid-air” so that the ads do not get loaded.

Yes Jay, they are super annoying and you can’t even leave a comment sometimes because of them. They also make the browser freeze or crash or be super slow. There’s so many of them I thought you guys knew about it.

Often an ad is geo or demo-targetted, or ad cost specific…so if you are in the “sweet spot” for a bad ad unit, you could get it often/repeatedly, whereas for the majority of others – never at all.

That is why they are so tricky for us to catch them, unless someone brings them to our attention (or one of the ~dozen odd people writing at the site encounter them), we just have no clue at all.

With the new autonomous rules being less than 10000 lbs this could replace trucking in the USA. They say they can put 70000 lbs payload on this platform. With hydrogen stations 400 miles apart this would be a great solution for long haul. It looks simple to manufacture so 10000 or more per year with stops for fuel only 5 minutes. Yes it’s more expensive than battery electric but without a driver and higher utilization because you don’t have a driver it could be much cheaper. Like a bee hive dropping off and picking up in minutes by not being permently attached to the cargo.

During NEDW I was letting people test drive the P100DL we had on display for 6hrs straight. We also had a Hydrogen Clarity on display that I drove at the end of the day. I will tell you the build quality,pleasant interior and smooth drivetrain was extremely impressive. Seeing they had a ~$370/month, 20000 mile yr lease special that included $15000 in hydrogen fuel and 3 wks of luxury rental, I figured this may be too good of a deal to pass up. To my surprise the dealership has a 7 month waiting list for the Clarity fuel cell vehicle. So much for the impression no one want these things with their 4 minute, 300 mIle fuel ups. Should have known better.

Why were you surprised? People for the most part like a good deal. It’s a very nice car that when you factor in all the perks is a great deal. Sure it may not fit everyone’s definition of a green car but in general the masses don’t care. This is what a ton of people on this site don’t understand. That is why only 1%!of new cars sold are BEVs. The masses don’t want to pay more $ for a car that overall delivers less.

While I wouldn’t get it if they offered the same lease deals and mileage for the PHEV and heck even the BEV I would seriously consider it. My Gen 1 Volt is really starting to bug me and someone bigger and more comfy is in my future. Make it a good deal and it’ll be hard to pass up. Don’t really care for the exterior styling but I am not trying to impress anyone nor do I pull out a chair and sit in it and stare at my car so it’s not a huge deal.

Take the free fuel away and actually price the lease in real terms with say 50-60% residual and see what happens. This is just a promotion to test these on the roads. There is no advantage compared to ICE or EV.

ICE and ICE based hybrids, while practical right now, don’t have zero tailpipe emissions, that is the whole point of EVs and why they are subsidiesed in places like California and restricted from city center access in some other places.

Once you try to develop alternative ICE replacement technology with long term future in mind, it is obvious that Li Ion batteries don’t cut it for all possible ICE applications. So you need something more.

Is that obvious?

“Aim for the tank!”


Ask, and you shall receive. Here’s an explosive video of what happens when you fire an 50-caliber armor-piercing bullet at a full 10,000 psi hydrogen tank from a fuel cell vehicle. Enjoy!

But in combat TrollVor, the enemy has much higher calibers then just 50-cals.

Presumably this military vehicle uses an onboard reformer to “feed” the fuel cell. With all the problems the military has in delivering their standard fuel (some type of aviation fuel) to combat zones, the very last thing they need is a non-standard type of fuel as hard to deal with, and as impractical, as compressed hydrogen gas!

I don’t even want to think about setting up a mobile H2 fueling “station”, and attaching the special high-pressure fueling hose with its special seals — which a fool cell vehicles needs if it uses compressed hydrogen fuel — in a combat zone! *Shudder*

Nor the extended time it takes to fill an H2 tank. Talk about making yourself a target!

America has a long history of false flags, government deception,fraudulent suppression of innovation to protect the establishment big money oligarchs and mendacious politicians and executive branch lunatics. McNamara, Butts, Price, Meese, North, Bannon, Agnew, Nixon, LBJ,
Wastemoreland, Cheney,and a horrible cast of criminals.
Herbert Hoover once opined: “What is good for GM is good for America.” Let GM perform for the Military Industrial Complex Ike warned us would destroy America. It already has. I love hydrogen. Everybody with a sense of patriotism should.
Every time I hear about the Second Amendment, I remember its real purpose. To set up a militia to torture, kill, and regulate black slaves who outnumbered by 10 to 1 white Supremacists in the South. Paying $20 a gallon for diesel to Halliburton is not a rational construct to be the World’s Military Slave since WW2. Time to rebuild America not the World. Hydrogen can do that. America star being rational.