GM Defense, a subsidiary of US manufacturer General Motors, has been selected by the US Department of Defense’s (DoD) Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) to prototype an energy storage unit, as part of the DIU’s Stable Tactical Expeditionary Electric Power (STEEP) programme.

According to GM Defense, the STEEP initiative is intended to provide solutions to support tactical microgrid and energy management capabilities in austere locations, reducing logistical requirements and the reliance on fossil fuels as the primary energy source across the DoD.

To this end, GM Defense will seek to leverage GM’s electric vehicle propulsion architecture, the Ultium Platform, to deliver a scalable energy storage unit to support deployed operations.

GM Defense states that the prototype solution will provide sustainable power for mission critical equipment, such as command and control, communications, radar and weapons systems in remote areas or where a stable power grid is absent.

The company’s energy storage system will work with hydrogen-powered generators, stationary and mobile battery electric power or existing fuel-powered generators to support power distribution at the tactical level.

Awarded its first contract from the DIU in 2022 to provide a prototyping battery system based on GM’s Ultium Platform in support of the Jumpstart for Advanced Battery Standardization (JABS) project, GM Defense has expanded its work under the contract to include the integration of the high-voltage battery pack into the business’ Multi-Mission and Logistics vehicle.

The JABS programme is designed to help standardise battery modules across the DoD and pave the way for future battery advancements to be integrated and adopted within military platforms.

The company stated that, if successful, STEEP will transition to a US Marine Corps (USMC) programme and will serve as GM Defense’s first programme with the USMC since relaunching the business in 2017.