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GM Defense outlines electrification road map

GM Defense unveiled its armoured NGLTWV concept at IDEX 2023. This combines the Chevrolet Silverado commercial pickup truck chassis with GM's Ultium battery technology. (Janes/Sonny Butterworth)

GM Defense displayed its vehicle electrification technology, including a ‘skateboard' chassis and its Next Generation Light Tactical Wheeled Vehicle (NGLTWV) at IDEX 2023, held in Abu Dhabi from 20 to 24 February.

Speaking to Janes , Steve duMont, president of GM Defense, explained how the company's approach will be to ‘take commercial technology and minimally adapt it', building on the strategy it used for the US Army's Infantry Squad Vehicle (ISV). This offers the benefits of being able to rapidly design and produce platforms, while also taking advantage of commercial economies of scale.

Aligned with this approach, GM is investing USD35 billion into electric vehicle and autonomous vehicle technology through to 2025, with the ultimate aim of having its entire portfolio below the heavy-duty truck level made up of battery electric vehicles by 2035.

One of the products of this investment is the skateboard chassis, which is purpose-designed to incorporate battery technology and has been demonstrated on GM's Hummer EV Edition 1 Pickup.

The Skateboard chassis consists of a large electric motor and a transmission with an integrated inverter at the front axle, two motors and a separate inverter at the rear axle, and two layers of 12 Ultium battery modules located in the centre of the vehicle, for a total of 24 battery modules. Accounting for 80% of the vehicle's structure, the battery tray provides structural stiffness, which improves handling across rough terrain.

Explaining the benefits of this technology, Jim Khoury, senior manager, battery engineering at GM Defense, told Janes

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