GM Defense to develop advanced energy storage for U.S.

GM’s subsidiary works on a prototype for tactical energy management

The field of defense technology is about to witness a leap forward as GM Defense, a General Motors subsidiary, partners with the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) of the Department of Defense (DoD).

The primary focus of the collaboration is the prototyping of an energy storage unit that adheres to the Stable Tactical Expeditionary Electric Power (STEEP) program’s standards. The STEEP program is a groundbreaking initiative from DIU that primarily aims to reduce the defense sector’s dependency on fossil fuels, particularly in austere locations where resources are limited.

“This contract award demonstrates our ability to leverage advanced commercial technologies and investments from our parent company, GM, to reduce warfighter fuel consumption, and lower acoustic and thermal signatures, while providing efficient energy at the tactical edge,”

Steve duMont, president of GM Defense.

The role of the Ultium Platform

The Ultium Platform, GM’s leading-edge electric vehicle propulsion system, will be the bedrock of the energy storage unit being developed. It’s envisaged that the unit will be both scalable and adaptable, thus ensuring it’s able to meet the varied energy demands of the defense sector. This initiative marks a significant step in the diversification of energy resources within the defense sector.

The prototype solution and its functionality

Uninterruptable and sustainable power for mission-critical equipment is one of the prototype solution’s core aims. The STEEP energy storage system being developed by GM Defense will operate in conjunction with hydrogen-powered generators, mobile and stationary battery electric power, or existing fuel-powered generators. Its purpose is to support efficient power management and distribution, especially in remote areas where a stable power grid may be nonexistent.

Building on past successes

GM Defense has already established a successful track record with the DIU, having been awarded a contract in fall 2022. The contract was for a prototyping battery system based on the Ultium Platform in support of the Jumpstart for Advanced Battery Standardization (JABS) project. The ongoing work under this contract has expanded to include the integration of the high-voltage battery pack into the company’s Multi-Mission and Logistics vehicle.

Specifications and data

  • The prototype solution is designed to provide uninterruptable and sustainable power for mission-critical equipment.
  • The solution will work in conjunction with hydrogen-powered generators, mobile and stationary battery electric power, or existing fuel-powered generators.
  • The project is built on the Ultium Platform, GM’s advanced electric vehicle propulsion system.
  • GM Defense aims to leverage the technology to reduce fuel consumption and lower acoustic and thermal signatures in the defense sector.

Towards a future of sustainable defense

The work being done by GM Defense in partnership with the DIU represents a significant move towards a more sustainable future for the defense industry.

By reducing reliance on fossil fuels and making use of advanced technologies, they are working towards creating a defense sector that is more efficient, versatile, and prepared for the long-term. The success of these projects would not only benefit the defense sector but could also have wider implications for how we approach energy use and management in other sectors as well.


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