GM plans to produce military vehicle based on Hummer EV in 2022
Steve duMont is the President of GM Defense. He speaks with Kathleen Hicks (US Deputy Secretary for Defense) at the GM Technical Center, Warren, Mich.
Steve Fecht, GM Defense Photo
WARREN, Mich. – General MotorsCNBC has learned that officials plan to make a military prototype vehicle based upon the GMC Hummer EV’s forthcoming GMC Hummer EV.
This plan, which is an initial but crucial step, will help the automaker commercialize its electric vehicle business. The company also has a Hummer-based eLRV (electric Light Reconnaissance Vehicle), that could be used by the Army. According to Steve duMont from GM Defense,
“The Army’s excited about the fact we’re investing into this,” he stated to CNBC while speaking at an automaker’s technology campus near Warren, Mich. Today, it was our Hummer EV. The Hummer Electric EV will be the base of that vehicle.”
DuMont made the comments following a Monday visit from Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen HicksYou will hear from GM about its electrification plans and GM Defense’s research on EVs for defense.
Lloyd Austin, Defense Secretary has stated that he is open to new procedures and policies for combating climate change. This priority was a high priority in the Biden administration.
CNBC heard last year from GM Defense, that it had identified $25 billionIn potential future businesses.
According to company officials, the eLRV of GM Defense will likely be based upon the Hummer EV. GM Defense intends to change the vehicle’s frame, motors, and “Ultium”, automaker-developed batteries for military use.
This is similar to the work that GM Defense has done with a new Infantry Squad Vehicle it produces for the Army. The Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 was the vehicle that inspired the creation of this off-road version of the pickup.
2022 GMC Hummer Electric EV Sport Utility Truck
Rick Kewley from GM Defense, vice president of advanced engineering and product development, stated Monday that they expect to begin assembling eLRV models based on the Hummer in order for military evaluation and testing next year.
The eLRV Program is not yet a certainty. Army officials have asked companies if they would be willing to provide information on such vehicles. Defense News published a May report that 10 companies (including GM) brought electric cars to the Army so it could evaluate the off-road capability and determine goals.
The military will release specific specifications about the vehicle to allow companies to create prototypes. This would follow the information phase. After the information phase, two companies will be selected by military for manufacturing their vehicle. The decision will be made by the middle of next decade.
Hicks was supportive of EVs in the Department of Defense during Monday’s tour of GM facilities, but she questioned whether there is enough charging infrastructure.
During a tour through GM’s Battery Lab, she stated to duMont that they didn’t need her to “sell me.” She later added, “We’re very sold.”
DuMont indicated that GM Defense could recharge such vehicles just like how the military currently refuels aircraft or other traditional vehicles with internal combustion engine engines.
DuMont spoke out about remote refueling, saying that “However they choose to do it,”
Steve duMont is GM Defense President. He speaks with Kathleen Hicks (US Deputy Secretaryof Defense) on November 8, 2021, in General Motors’ battery laboratory at the technical center in Warren. Mich.
Steve Fecht, GM Defense Photographer
Hicks did not respond to questions and said it would take some time for the U.S. military fleet to switch over entirely. The DOD could prepare for additional EVs in some areas.
She stated in an email to CNBC that “Electrifying our non-tactical Fleet, that’s a must” It’s all about how we get ahead and what capabilities we gain with the tactical fleet.
Hicks cited EVs’ quietness as well as their lower emissions, however, he added that questions remain about retrofitting and charging current operations to EVs.
She stated that once they can demonstrate this, and we will need industry support, then we’ll need operators to try out different approaches. So we won’t be able to just jump into any new concept of electrification operation, but we think we can move very quickly.
GM Defense won its first major military contract to build and maintain Infantry Squad Vehicles (ISV) for the Army. This contract cost $214.3million.
Kathleen Hicks, the U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense drives an Infantry Squad Vehicle made by GM Defense at Warren’s GM Technical Center.
Steve Fecht has taken the photo for GM Defense
Although the government had specified traditional internal combustion engines for these vehicles, GM produced an ISV with all-electric technology earlier in the year. Kewley described the electric prototype as a “steppingstone”, to show what military EVs could be like to drive.
On Monday, Hicks drove the ISV version but not the electric one. The vehicle was built with EV parts of the Chevrolet Bolt.
Kewley stated that the Hummer EV works well to show where it is headed. We’ll have the ability to adapt that propeller system into a similar-sized Hummer EV as we commercialize and produce it.