The Chevrolet Colorado ZH2 Fuel Cell Vehicle is a modified midsize truck that will undergo extreme testing by the military in 2017. This may be the most extreme off-road fuel-cell powered electric vehicle to date. General Motors revealed this new midsized pickup at the Association of the United States Army meeting this fall.
Built on a stretched midsize pickup chassis, it stands more than 6½ feet tall and is over 7 feet wide. Suspension has been modified for this vehicle to climb any number of terrains on 37 inch tires.
Extreme conditions will be needed for the testing of this vehicle by the U.S. Army to ensure the viability of a hydrogen powered vehicle on military missions.
One of the key interests of this vehicle is the Exportable Power Take-Off unit (EPTO). This allows the fuel cell to power activity away from the vehicle, as in remote locations where electric power may otherwise be unavailable.
In less than a year, GM and the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) collaborated to develop the Colorado ZH2 from visualization to design.
GM reported, “The speed with which innovative ideas can be demonstrated and assessed is why relationships with industry are so important to the Army,” said Paul Rogers, director of TARDEC. “Fuel cells have the potential to expand the capabilities of Army vehicles significantly through quiet operation, exportable power and solid torque performance, all advances that drove us to investigate this technology further.”
The ZH2 will be evaluated for the following, according to GM:
- Near-silent operation enabling silent watch capability
- Reduced acoustic and thermal signatures
- High wheel torque at all speeds via electric drive
- Low fuel consumption across operating range
- Water by-product for field uses
About General Motors
General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM, TSX: GMM) and its partners produce vehicles in 30 countries, and the company has leadership positions in the world’s largest and fastest-growing automotive markets. GM, its subsidiaries and joint venture entities sell vehicles under the Chevrolet, Cadillac, Baojun, Buick, GMC, Holden, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling brands. More information on the company and its subsidiaries, including OnStar, a global leader in vehicle safety, security and information services, can be found at http://www.gm.com
Headquartered at the U.S. Army Detroit Arsenal in Warren, Michigan, TARDEC is a major research, development and engineering center for the Army Materiel Command’s Research, Development and Engineering Command and an enterprise partner in the TACOM Life Cycle Management Command. TARDEC is the Nation’s laboratory for advanced military automotive technology and serves as the Ground Systems Integrator for all Defense Department manned and unmanned ground vehicle systems. With roots dating back to the World War II era, TARDEC develops and integrates the right technology solutions to improve current force effectiveness and provides superior capabilities for future force integration. More information can be found at http://tardec.army.mil