Honda and Toyota aren’t the only companies developing fuel-cell technologies. General Motors and the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development & Engineering Center (TARDEC) are modifying a Chevrolet Colorado to run on fuel-cell power. The truck, shown below in a teaser photo, will be used for a year to determine whether hydrogen power could work on the battlefield.
The Chevrolet Colorado has been toughened and will be subjected to “extreme” military use to see how a fuel-cell power source can withstand tough use. Advantages for a fuel-cell military vehicle, TARDEC and GM say, include the vehicles’ near-silent operation when compared to internal combustion engines, as well as the low-end torque of electric motors and the ability of the fuel cell stack to serve as an electricity source.
There’s also one somewhat unexpected benefit: Because fuel-cell vehicles emit pure water, as a result of the chemical reaction that produces electricity, they could serve as a water source when operating in the desert.
More details on the experimental Chevrolet Colorado fuel-cell vehicle will be announced later. Chevrolet previously experimented with fuel cell technology in 2007, when it launched a fleet of 119 Equinox crossovers powered by hydrogen fuel cells. The cars were driven a total of 3 million miles by more than 5,000 customers.
The standard Chevrolet Colorado is pictured.