Chevrolet Colorado-Based Fuel Cell Vehicle Will Be Revealed In October
Will the U.S. Military adopt Hydrogen fuel cell technology?by Mark McNabb, on
General Motors is partnering with the U.S. Military’s Army Tank Automotive Research, Development, and Engineering Center to build and test a
“Hydrogen fuel cells as a power source have the potential to bring to the force incredibly valuable capabilities,” said TARDEC Director Paul Rogers. “We expect the vehicle to be quiet in operation and ready to provide electricity generation for needs away from the vehicle. With fuel cell technology advancing, it’s an ideal time to investigate its viability in extreme military-use conditions.”
The joint project is designed to leverage innovation and next-generation technologies in the commercial sector at the request of the Department of Defense. Not only does the project help the military, it gives GM an investor to help fund its R&D on hydrogen fuel cell technology, which could eventually be used in passenger vehicles.
As for the military, a hydrogen fuel cell powertrain offers a number of benefits. For one, a fuel cell is far more efficient than gasoline and diesel internal combustion engines. Fuel cells are also inherently quite in operation, allowing for covert operations without noisy exhaust rumbles.
“This project is another example of how fuel cell propulsion can play a role in non-traditional applications,” said Charlie Freese, executive director of GM’s Global Fuel Cell Activities. “We need to continue pursuing these opportunities along with our plans for production of a commercial fuel cell system in the 2020 time frame.”
We’ll bring you all the detailed information once GM debuts this Colorado Fuel Cell prototype in October.
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Why it matters
The U.S. Military is always looking for the next big advancement in technology and it’s no surprise hydrogen fuel cell technology is on the table. Fuel cell power provides a quiet source of electricity, which can both be used to power the vehicle forward and power ancillary equipment on the battlefield.
Not only does this benefit the military, but GM as well. It can pursue the idea of hydrogen power in its consumer vehicles thanks to this project. Other automakers, Hyundai and Toyota in particular, have worked diligently in developing hydrogen fuel cell technology to the point both automakers offer hydrogen-powered cars in the marketplace.