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GM Talking With US Army about Developing New Fuel-Cell Vehicle

SURUS program offers commercial applications.

by on Oct.06, 2017

SURUS was designed to form a foundation for a family of commercial vehicle solutions that leverages a single propulsion system integrated into a common chassis.

General Motors may expand its fuel-cell research and development program with the U.S. Army, including the company’s new Silent Utility Rover Universal Superstructure platform, also known as SURUS.

The Army has been testing the fuel cell-powered Chevrolet Colorado ZH2 on U.S. bases for the past six months to determine the viability of hydrogen-powered vehicles in military-mission tactical environments.

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Now the two sides are in talks to add the SURUS to that evaluation program. The SURUS is flexible fuel cell-powered, four-wheel concept with autonomous capabilities. It is based on a heavy-duty truck frame and designed as a “foundation” for a new generation of commercial vehicles that leverages a single propulsion system integrated into a common chassis, according to GM officials. (more…)

Is Hydrogen Power Making a Comeback?

Nissan, Hyundai among makers willing to putting fuel-cell vehicles into production.

by on Oct.08, 2012

Nissan says it would consider putting a fuel cell vehicle like the TeRRA concept into production.

“Hydrogen is the clean, efficient power for the future,” goes the old joke among engineers, “and it always will be.”  Like the sign that offers “free beer…tomorrow,” it’s a cynical sign that while hydrogen power could ultimately be one of the cleanest possible sources of energy, it never seems to quite reach the mass production stage.

Yet, there are small but telling signs that this may soon change.  A growing number of automakers are planning to launch limited production of vehicles using hydrogen fuel cell technology. General Motors, meanwhile, has moved its hydrogen research center in an upstate New York outpost to one of its main Detroit engineering campuses.

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And Dept. of Energy Secretary Steven Chu has signaled a growing interest in hydrogen after earlier dismissing the technology and shifting more than $100 million in federal research money from fuel cells to batteries.

Hydrogen seemed all the rage within the auto industry at the dawn of the new Millennium. And a cursory understanding explained why: the lightweight gas is the most abundant element in the universe and, when used in a fuel cell system, produces electricity and water vapor rather than the harmful emissions found in the exhaust of an internal combustion engine.


GM Moving Fuel Cell Center Back to Michigan

One of several signs of reviving Detroit-area auto business.

by on Oct.08, 2012

Engineers are shown testing a fuel cell stack at GM's Honeoye operations.

General Motors Co. is moving its fuel-cell development headquarters from upstate New York to the company’s engine research and development center in Pontiac, Michigan which is responsible for integrating new technology into the automaker’s products.

GM has been one of many makers exploring applications of hydrogen-powered fuel cells which some believe could provide a true zero-emissions alternative to both conventional gasoline engines and limited-range electric vehicles

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GM spokeswoman Kimberly Carpenter confirmed GM plans to move 220 salaried engineers and other staff to Michigan by the end of the first quarter of 2013. Virtually all of the employees assigned to the GM fuel cell research center in Honeoye, N.Y. near Rochester, N.Y. are being offered jobs in Pontiac, she said.


GM Cutting 100 R&D Jobs in Detroit

Faster work – fewer jobs.

by on May.02, 2012

GM engineers work on a prototype fuel cell stack.

General Motors, in a bid to save cash and expedite the development of new technology, is restructuring its research and development efforts – but the move is going to be felt in the form of job cuts, especially in suburban Detroit.

As part of the shake-up, GM is reducing the size of the research and development staff based at the GM technical center in Warren by 25% and closing a research center in Bangalore, India.  GM officials said the goal of the restructuring is to bring innovations to the market faster.

“It’s very competitive now,” said GM spokesman Dan Flores.

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The changes follow a shift in the leadership at the research and development group. Alan Taub, who had been in charge of R&D, was replaced by John Lauckner on April 1, Lauckner will also serve as GM’s chief technical officer, GM officials said.

As part of the reorganization, the size of the research and development staff will be cut to 300 from the current level of 400. The research center in Bangalore, which employs 90, will be closed completely and the work now underway in Bangalore will be reassigned to other parts of GM’s research and development network.