Text: Eric Tipan / Photos: General Motors | posted November 25, 2015 09:23
GM works with US Army on military-grade fuel cell Chevy Colorado
If even the Colorado Tracker Pro falls short of your expectations, this current collaboration between General Motors (GM) - makers of Chevrolet – and the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development & Engineering Center (TARDEC) may have a trickle-down effect on future models making the Colorado military-grade.
GM and TARDEC are currently modifying a Chevy Colorado to run on a commercial hydrogen fuel cell propulsion system and have to capability to withstand the ‘extremes of daily military use for 12 months.’
“Hydrogen fuel cell technology is important to GM’s advanced propulsion portfolio, and this enables us to put our technology to the test in a vehicle that will face punishing military duty cycles,” said Charlie Freese, executive director of GM’s Global Fuel Cell Engineering activities.
Fuel cells became the propulsion of choice due to it very high low-end torque capability that will be useful in off-road situations while also having the ability to generate electricity while off-site that can be useful in either commercial or military applications.
"The potential capabilities hydrogen fuel cell vehicles can bring to the Warfighter are extraordinary, and our engineers and scientists are excited about the opportunity to exercise the limits of this demonstrator. FCVs are very quiet vehicles, which scouts, special operators and other specialties place a premium,” he said. “What's more, fuel cells generate water as a by-product, something extremely valuable in austere environments,” said TARDEC Director Paul Rogers.
Both GM and TARDEC have fuel cell development and research facilities that are only 20 minutes apart allowing them to fully collaborate and evaluate regularly.