GM To Make ELRV For US Army From Upcoming Hummer EV
General Motor Company’s (GM) defense wing is reportedly going to make a prototype of an army vehicle for the US Army based on the GMC Hummer EV. It is going to be a reconnaissance vehicle that will be segmented under an electric Light Reconnaissance Vehicle or eLRV, a first of its kind in the US Army ranks.
General Motors are one of the large-scale manufacturers who are going to go completely electric in the coming decades and this move is to make a strong statement about the intention of the company.
People in the know think that GM will not keep the entire form factor intact in the military vehicle. While the chassis and the battery system will be shared, the equipment and form-factor will go through makeovers. GM has done something similar with the Colorado ZR2 based Infantry Squad vehicle.
In an interview with CNBC, GM Defence President, Steve DuMont told CNBC, “The Army’s very excited about the fact that we’re investing in this. 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.”
However, the program is yet to be confirmed but Department of Defense Deputy Secretary Kathleen Hicks paid a visit of GM’s tech plant in Warren, Michigan. The secretary of the DOD, Lloyd Austin is in support of the project as it is seen as one of the primary ways to control climate change, one of the chief motives of the Biden Administration. GM Defense VP Rick Kewley thinks the assembling program will begin in 2022.
GM Defense wants the vehicle to be powered by its Ultium batteries but charging remains one of the primary caveats of using electric vehicles in the army. DuMont thinks that on-the-go charging can be attained with help of a combustion engine car to charge the vehicle the way jets are refueled mid-air. “However they want to do it, we can work with them on that journey because we’re doing that today,” said, DuMont.
Talking about how the DoD is going to make the complete fleet consist of EVs, Hicks said “Electrifying the non-tactical fleet, that’s a no-brainer. With the tactical fleet, it’s about this issue of how we move forward, and the capabilities we gain.”
While the EVs bring more to the table in terms of being quiet and emitting less, charging remains the source of concern in her voice. “I think once we can start to demonstrate that, which we’re going to need the industry to help us, we’re going to need the operators to play with approaches for a little bit — so we can’t just sort of leap into new concepts of operation around electrification — but I think we can get there relatively fast” added Hicks.
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