Shaun Connors gets a programme update on the General Motors Chevrolet Colorado ZH2 Fuel Cell vehicle for military use from project manager Christopher Colquitt. Currently undergoing testing at Fort Carson in Colorado, the Chevrolet Colorado ZH2 hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle illustrates the unlikely intersection between eco-friendly powertrains and the demanding needs of a vehicle that may be deployed to a war zone. The Colorado ZH2 is a collaboration between General Motors and the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC), but its roots are a little more humble.
Underneath its show-truck body, the ZH2 is a shortened Colorado ZR2 off-road truck with a version of the experimental Chevrolet Equinox hydrogen fuel-cell test-vehicle’s 177-horsepower electric motor and proton-exchange membrane fuel-cell stack.
It’s beefed up for military use with a suspension lift and 37-inch BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain tires (perhaps the only time you’ll read those words together on Green Car Reports).
GM and TARDEC are quick to point out the benefits of fuel-cell propulsion in a military vehicle: silent and quiet running to sneak up on or away from a nasty situation, a quiet and efficient electric generator, water vapor emissions that can be converted to re-ionized potable water, and the ability to extract hydrogen from military-grade JP8 fuel.