Mission-Ready Chevrolet Colorado ZH2 Fuel Cell Unveiled at U.S. Army Show – Videos

OCT 5 2016 BY MARK KANE 17

Chevrolet Colorado ZH2 fuel cell electric vehicle

Chevrolet Colorado ZH2 fuel cell electric vehicle

Chevrolet Colorado ZH2 fuel cell electric vehicle

Chevrolet Colorado ZH2 fuel cell electric vehicle

GM unveiled its off-road Chevrolet Colorado powered by hydrogen fuel cells from the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) special meeting this week.

The Chevrolet Colorado ZH2 is a modified midsize pickup, capable of quietly exporting electricity, and will enter extreme military field testing next year.

Chevrolet didn’t reveal any performance data of the vehicle, but the design is pretty nice…although we aren’t sure if our “pretty nice” status is what the Army and GM were shooting for.

“Standing more than 6½ feet tall and more than seven feet wide, the Colorado ZH2 was built on a stretched midsize pickup chassis. Reinforced inside and out, the ZH2 rides on 37-inch tires and a specially modified suspension that helps the vehicle climb over and descend all manner of terrain.

The U.S. Army will test the Colorado ZH2 in extreme field conditions next year to determine the viability of hydrogen-powered vehicles on military missions.

Chevrolet Colorado ZH2 fuel cell electric vehicle

Chevrolet Colorado ZH2 fuel cell electric vehicle

The Colorado ZH2 features an Exportable Power Take-Off unit (EPTO) that allows the fuel cell to power activity away from the vehicle, such as remote locations where electric power may otherwise be unavailable.

GM and the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) collaborated to develop the Colorado ZH2 from contract to concept in less than a year.

GM is leveraging a range of advanced technologies for multiple applications, including military.”

“The Army will evaluate the ZH2 fuel cell for:

  • Near-silent operation enabling silent watch capability
  • Reduced acoustic and thermal signatures
  • High wheel torque at all speeds via electric drive
  • Low fuel consumption across operating range
  • Water by-product for field uses

GM and TARDEC have fuel cell development laboratories located 20 miles apart in southeast Michigan. Most of the Colorado ZH2 was assembled in GM’s Advanced Vehicle Integration facility in Warren. Calibration testing at GM’s Milford Proving Ground will continue into early 2017, when the vehicle will be turned over to the Army for a year of field testing.”

“The Colorado ZH2 contract is GM’s second vehicle development with a U.S military branch announced this year. In June, the U.S. Navy unveiled a GM fuel cell-powered Unmanned Undersea Vehicle (UUV) that is currently in pool testing before eventual deployment. The UUV leverages GM fuel cell technology common with the Colorado ZH2, demonstrating the flexibility to power a range of mobile and stationary devices.

GM has accumulated 3.1 million miles of hydrogen fuel cell testing via Project Driveway, a 119-vehicle fleet driven by more than 5,000 people in a multi-year fuel cell experience program.”

Chevrolet Colorado ZH2 fuel cell electric vehicle

Chevrolet Colorado ZH2 fuel cell electric vehicle

Paul Rogers, director of TARDEC said:

“The speed with which innovative ideas can be demonstrated and assessed is why relationships with industry are so important to the Army. Fuel cells have the potential to expand the capabilities of Army vehicles significantly through quiet operation, exportable power and solid torque performance, all advances that drove us to investigate this technology further.”

Charlie Freese, executive director of GM Global Fuel Cell Activities said:

“The Colorado ZH2 is a terrific example of GM’s engineering and design skill in creating an off-road vehicle relevant to a range of potential users. Over the next year, we expect to learn from the Army the limits of what a fuel cell propulsion system can do when really put to the test.”

Chevrolet Colorado ZH2 fuel cell electric vehicle

Chevrolet Colorado ZH2 fuel cell electric vehicle

Chevrolet Colorado ZH2 fuel cell electric vehicle

Chevrolet Colorado ZH2 fuel cell electric vehicle

Chevrolet Colorado ZH2 fuel cell electric vehicle

Chevrolet Colorado ZH2 fuel cell electric vehicle

Chevrolet Colorado ZH2 fuel cell electric vehicle

Chevrolet Colorado ZH2 fuel cell electric vehicle

Hat tip to MTN Ranger!

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17 Comments on "Mission-Ready Chevrolet Colorado ZH2 Fuel Cell Unveiled at U.S. Army Show – Videos"

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GM+FCV=Chum for InsideEVs’ers

Where’s my popcorn?

FCV (using 7 bar compressed hydrogen tanks) + IEDs = Entertainment

I’m buying the popcorn.

That interior doesn’t look like it was designed for the army.

I don’t know who takes these videos, but the dude doesn’t know how to examine equipment. He’s too close in.

Similar to watching working equipment on YouTube. The ‘cameraman’ constantly moves the camera instead of staying in one place and allowing you to watch the equipment work.

This is similiar in that I saw very little for as long as the video was.

“Mission ready”?!?!

Well, so long as that mission doesn’t involve driving more than half of its range from the handful of hydrogen fueling stations to be found around the world!

The idea that this could be used in a war zone is… well frankly, it’s hilarious! I mean, seriously, is this thing gonna be followed wherever it goes by one of those “portable hydrogen stations” that Toyota was touting? If not, how in the heck could any driver of such a vehicle expect to be able to find fuel for it in a war zone?

If you’re driving a regular army Hummvee, then at worst you can throw a few jerry cans of gasoline (or aviation fuel) into the back, to make sure you won’t run out of fuel. But with a hydrogen fueled car… not so much!

As someone said not too long ago in a comment to InsideEVs: Fuel cell cars make an interesting science experiment. But expecting one to be a practical vehicle is just crazy.

“Your tax dollars at waste.”

What dumb ideas you invent about combat zone Pu-pu in your Tesla zealot attempt to trash non-Tesla technology. Do you think people there go for hundreds of miles on road trips to explore local attractions refueling on the road? It is what they do, stay within a reach of a base support, and base needs to supply everything, and army needs to supply kerosine to base either in tankers over hostile territory, or by planes, that costs a fortune and is logistical problem. Hydrogen can be generated locally on base, and ensure silent operation without becoming thermal target, that would be impossible with your beloved diesel.

Next you may suggest to operate army vehicles on 4 AA size Tesla badged Duracell batteries :/

zzzzzzzzzz said:

“Hydrogen can be generated locally on base…

Is it also going to be pressurized and stored in a high pressure containment vessel on base, too? And is the base going to be equipped with a hydrogen dispensing station?

Of course, being a Big Oil shill, you don’t care that all this would cost millions of dollars in equipment just to support, at most, 2 or 3 dozen car/SUV-sized fool cell vehicles, not even counting the cost of generating all that hydrogen.

“…and ensure silent operation without becoming thermal target, that would be impossible with your beloved diesel.”

I presume this gratuitous insult, insinuating that it’s me who is the Big Oil shill here rather than you, is merely your version of childish name-calling. Perhaps instead of getting angry and upset when someone points out the facts, the science, and the economics which make “fool cell” vehicles utterly impractical, you should simply quit shilling for Big Oil.

And by the way, dude, nobody mentioned Tesla here until you brought it up.

Children acting like idiots.

zzzzzzzzzz has a point. Moreover, the cost of diesel fuel at those bases is many times larger than we pay at the pump. That fuel must be transported – often by air, and behind enemy lines. When the army pays $20/gallon (or more!) for diesel at an operating base, on-site generated Hydrogen could actually make economic sense. Not that the Army follows the same economics as the rest of the world, mind you…

Now can we tone down the ad-hominem attacks and focus on the actual discussion at hand?

Frankly, pure bev would be better from all point of views. Its easy to generate locally. Check. Its safe and provides very little thermal give away. Sure it burns in extreme cases. But it does so in a controlled manner and the battery could actually be used as an extra protection for ied or similar.

+1000

Using electricity directly on base, instead of having to convert and WASTE that energy to create inefficient hydrogen, makes far more sense. Electrons from solar or wind on base are far easier and cost effective to produce.

PP has his biases, but he’s correct in regards to the wastefulness, unnecessary expense and total irrationality of using hydrogen to power military vehicles in combat zones.

I agree. I don’t see the upside of the fuel cell in this scenario.

@Pu-pu
You are suggesting to replace locally generated renewable fuel with fossil fuel even if its delivery costs a fortune in combat zone, and at the same time accusing others of being “Big Oil shill” or whatever. I don’t know if you are off meds again or just trying to pump TSLA shares on Wallstreet order before yet another secondary share sale for this pyramid. Go away, Wallstreet shill.

If anything, he’s suggesting using Solar on site, not fossil fuels. Duh. 😛

Look at history, the army tested gas powdered buggies and then motorcycles a over 100 years ago, why not hydrogen fuel cell electric. If they expect water to be drinkable in battle field, the fuel cell could be straight hydrogen or probably natural gas, propane , or diesel fed, like the other fuel cells in the market

They can reform JP fuels at the base to get better mileage and more stealth.

Why no digital camo?