The aim is to see how well the benefits of a fuel cell vehicle can be adapted to the battlefield; hydrogen-powered vehicles are quiet, torquey, produce water, and can be used to provide electricity in the field. GM says the design sketch above "foreshadows" the Colorado that will go to boot camp and beyond, making it clear that this won't be the average midsize pickup. The press release below has more.
Agreement focused on proving unique utility and viability of fuel cell propulsion
WARREN, Mich. 2015-11-19 – General Motors and the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development & Engineering Center (TARDEC) are modifying a Chevrolet Colorado midsize pickup truck to run on a commercial hydrogen fuel cell propulsion system and will expose the truck to 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 cell propulsion has very high low-end torque capability useful in off-road environments. It also offers exportable electric power and quiet operation, attractive characteristics to both commercial and military use.
"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," said TARDEC Director Paul Rogers.
"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."
GM and TARDEC have fuel cell development and research facilities located 20 minutes apart in Pontiac and Warren, Mich. The two collaborate to evaluate new fuel cell designs and materials, and TARDEC's state-of-the-art facility enables it to test and integrate fuel cell systems it has been developing for more than a decade.
In 2007, GM launched "Project Driveway," a 119-vehicle fleet of hydrogen fuel cell-equipped Chevrolet Equinoxes that were driven in daily use for more than 3 million miles by more than 5,000 consumers.
Hydrogen fuel cell propulsion technology helps address two major environmental challenges with automobiles today – petroleum use and carbon dioxide emissions. Fuel cell vehicles can operate on renewable hydrogen from sources like wind and biomass. Water vapor is the only emission.
Since the launch in 2014, the Chevrolet Colorado has raised the bar for midsize pickups with class-leading horsepower, torque, fuel economy, trailering capabilities and safety technologies. The Colorado provides true truck capabilities in a refined, fuel-efficient midsize package with three available powertrains. Paired with the available 2.8L Duramax diesel, the Colorado is the most fuel-efficient pickup truck in America. More information on the Chevrolet Colorado can be found at www.chevrolet.com/colorado.
Additional product details and specific vehicle timing will be announced later.
About General Motors Co.
General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM, TSX: GMM) and its partners produce vehicles in 30 countries, and the company has leadership positions in the world's largest and fastest-growing automotive markets. GM's brands include Chevrolet and Cadillac, as well as Baojun, Buick, GMC, Holden, Isuzu, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling. More information on the company and its subsidiaries, including OnStar, a global leader in vehicle safety, security and information services, can be found at http://www.gm.com.
Headquartered at the U.S. Army Detroit Arsenal in Warren, Mich., TARDEC is a major research, development and engineering center for the Army Materiel Command's Research, Development and Engineering Command and an enterprise partner in the TACOM Life Cycle Management Command. TARDEC is the Nation's laboratory for advanced military automotive technology and serves as the Ground Systems Integrator for all Defense Department manned and unmanned ground vehicle systems. With roots dating back to the World War II era, TARDEC develops and integrates the right technology solutions to improve current force effectiveness and provides superior capabilities for future force integration. More information can be found at www.army.mil/tardec.