The Department of Defense's Defense Innovation Unit has chosen General Motors to develop and test a battery pack prototype for future use.
The DoD doesn't want to miss out on the expansion of batteries and other forms of energy storage, especially as more EV technology hits the road. This project, however, is designed for the National Blueprint for Lithium Batteries 2021-2030 objective and requires GM Defense to develop a battery pack prototype.
GM expects its Ultium Platform - combined EV battery architecture and propulsion system - will be the best choice, as it is modular and extremely scalable. Ultium ranges from 50 to 200 kWh and Ultium-powered Evs have fast-charging capability with a range of up to 400 miles supported on a full charge.
As noted by Steve duMont, president of GM Defense:
"This award is a critical enabler for non-traditional defense businesses like GM Defense to deliver commercial technologies that support our customers' transition to a more electric, autonomous, and connected future. Commercial battery electric technologies continue to mature. GM Defense offers a unique advantage with our ability to leverage proven commercial capabilities and the billions in GM investments in electric vehicle and autonomous vehicle technologies in order to help provide our customers with the most advanced capabilities the commercial market can offer."
There are a handful of different government agencies currently working together on the Jumpstart for Advanced Battery Standardization (JABS) program - an effort to transition commercial battery products over for future military use. The DoD wants to piggyback off commercial investments of EV R&D while making it easier for the private sector and government agencies to work with one another.
As noted by Daphne Fuentevilla, deputy director of the Department of the Navy Operational Energy (DON-OE):
"We are engaging industry to utilize commercial building block batteries that can be deployed as the foundational pathway for the hybridization of any ground vehicle platform. Our strategy is to learn how large of a building block we can leverage, how to package the commercial technology into non-proprietary defense interfaces, and how to integrate batteries evolving at the speed of industry into defense platforms with static structures."