In collaboration with the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center, General Motors has developed the Chevrolet Colorado ZH2 from contract to concept in less than a year. The U.S. army will use the truck in order to determine the efficiency of hydrogen fuel cells in environments where the Army traditionally operates.
Roadshow had a chance to go for a spin in the Colorado ZH2. As reported, the traditional gas engine powertrain has been removed and replaced with hydrogen fuel cell. The hydrogen fuel cell engine uses compressed hydrogen gas to generate electricity. The truck uses a modified Colorado frame.
The vehicle is over 6.5 feet tall and 7 feet wide. With its 37-inch off-road tires looks ready ride on any terrain. The vehicle had no problems driving over moguls, up hills, and across fallen telephone poles. The suspension remained silent while operating through the terrain. The truck is much more than just an off-road vehicle. It has an Exportable Power Take-Off unit that basically turns the truck into a portable generator. The generator offers electric power from the truck’s fuel cell.
According to Trucks, the vehicle has taken some parts from Chevrolet’s Camaro and Corvette. All of the body panels, including the stock Colorado doors, are made of carbon fiber and infused with Kevlar. The top speed of the vehicle is around 70mph and it has a range of around 200 miles. The U.S. army will receive the ZH2 on April 10.
The truck is going to spend several months of testing at different bases around the country. After a whole year of testing, the military will evaluate the tests and decide how to proceed. Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are already available in the civilian light vehicle market. With the automakers investing heavily in the technology, hydrogen fuel cells could easily provide supplemental power to even a 30-ton Bradley tank.