Will use a hydrogen fuel cell.
General Motors has announced it will be working with the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory and the Office of Naval Research to incorporate automotive hydrogen fuel cell systems into the next-generation of unmanned undersea vehicles (UUVs).
According to the automaker, hydrogen fuel cells provide a number of benefits for UUVs including greater range and longer endurance than those powered by traditional batteries. These features are important as the U.S. Navy wants to develop a UUV that can last for more than 60 days at sea.
The Naval Research Laboratory recently conducted an evaluation of a UUV prototype equipped with a GM fuel cell at the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Carderock, Maryland. The tests were so successful that one official remarked the "prototype shows that fuel cells can be game changers for autonomous underwater systems."
In a statement, GM's executive director of Global Fuel Cell Activities Charlie Freese said “The collaboration with the Navy leveraged what we learned in amassing more than 3 million miles of real-world experience with our Project Driveway fuel cell program." He added, "Our customers will benefit from additional lessons we learn about the performance of fuel cells in non-automotive applications that will be useful in GM’s drive to offer fuel cells across consumer markets.”