2016 Chevrolet Colorado ZH2
Nearly a month ago, we told you about General Motors’ partnership with the U.S. Military’s Army Tank Automotive Research, Development, and Engineering Center to build and test a fuel cell vehicle for use in military operations. Well, GM has debuted its hydrogen-powered pickup and it’s called the Colorado ZH2.
As you can imagine, the truck is based on the Chevrolet Colorado. The ZH2 nomenclature is a play off the Colorado’s (or more historically, the S-10’s) off-road package, the ZR2. With its R swapped for an H, this hydrogen-powered truck is designed to test the capabilities and limits of a fuel-cell vehicle in off-road, wartime-style environments.
“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,” 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 speed Rogers is referring to is the time TARDEC gave GM to come up with this truck. From contract to concept, the project has happened in less than a year. That’s nearly light speed when it comes to government operations. From this point, the Colorado ZH2 will undergo a year’s worth of evaluation and demanding rigors to determine if hydrogen fuel cell vehicles have a future on the battlefield.
So what’s the big deal about fuel cell technology, you might ask? This propulsion system is nearly silent in operation, it offers a reduced thermal signature, has high torque thanks to its electric drive, offers low fuel consumption, and even creates water, which can be utilized in the field by soldiers.
There’s plenty to talk about here, so keep reading for the full run-down.
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