Army, General Motors partner to develop fuel-cell vehicle

General Motors and the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research,
Development and Engineering Center will reveal a Chevrolet Colorado-based
fuel cell electric vehicle in October at the fall meeting of the Association
of the United States Army in Washington.

The vehicle is being developed under an agreement signed in 2015 between TARDEC and GM. The collaboration enables TARDEC to access consumer-driven automotive
technology for use in military applications while providing GM with feedback on non-standard fuel cell-technology applications.

The Army will use the vehicle to demonstrate the capabilities a fuel-cell
electric powertrain can bring to the military, including quieter mobility,
exportable power generation, low-end torque and water generation. The Army intends to conduct user assessments and demonstrations in 2017.

“Hydrogen fuel cells as a power source have the potential to bring to the
force incredibly valuable capabilities,” TARDEC Director Paul Rogers said.
“We expect the vehicle to be quiet in operation and ready to provide
electricity generation for needs away from the vehicle. With fuel cell
technology advancing, it’s an ideal time to investigate its viability in
extreme military-use conditions.

“Fuel cell propulsion has low-end torque capability that is useful in an
off-road environment. It also offers additional characteristics attractive
to both commercial and military off-road use.”

Rogers said the vehicle will not succeed the Humvee in the field.

“This project is another example of how fuel cell propulsion can play a
role in non-traditional applications,” said Charlie Freese, executive
director of GM’s Global Fuel Cell Activities. “We need to continue pursing these opportunities along with our plans for production of a commercial fuel cell program in the 2020 time frame.”

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The U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center
is part of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command,
which has the mission to ensure decisive overmatch for unified land
operations to empower the Army, the joint warfighter and our nation. RDECOM is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Materiel Command.

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