Chevrolet's Fuel Cell-Powered Colorado ZH2 is Built For Serious Army Action
Auto manufacturer Chevrolet unveiled its latest vehicle, which is part of a series of vehicles using zero-emission fuel cell tech. The Colorado ZH2 fuel cell vehicle is made for the US Army to be used in military missions.
The Colorado ZH2 was announced Monday during a meeting of the Association of the United States Army. The ZH2 is a powered up version of the Colorado originally produced for consumers. The military vehicle has a reinforced frame to handle all kinds of terrain. It measures 6.5 feet tall and more than 7 feet wide with 37-inch tires.
Fuel cell is a technology where the stack converts hydrogen gas, which is stored in the vehicle, into electricity which powers the vehicle's motor.
Chevrolet, which is owned by General Motors, has previously announced its partnership with the US Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) to use consumer-based technology like fuel cell for military purposes.
Fuel cell vehicles are quiet, have low acoustic and thermal signatures, low fuel consumption and only has water as a by-product. This benefits Army missions greatly, as the ZH2 will be harder to detect and can survive uninhabited areas where water may be scarce or not available.
In a statement, TARDEC director Paul Rogers said: "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."
General Motors is also working with the US Naval Research Laboratory and has earlier shown a fuel cell-powered underwater drone, which can operate for more than 60 days.
The company has been testing fuel cell vehicles since the '90s and has forged a partnership with Honda Motor Co. Ltd. to develop a fuel-cell system that will become available in 2020.
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