GM delivers military truck with H2-Oh!

By: Ryan Burklow

Michigan put the world on wheels, and earlier this week, Gov. Rick Snyder had the chance to take a test drive in one very impressive set of Michigan-made wheels.

Joined by U.S. Sen. Gary Peters and top executives from General Motors and the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research Development Engineering Center, Gov. Snyder was on hand to showcase the handoff of the Chevrolet Colorado ZH2 fuel cell vehicle to TARDEC.

The ZH2 — designed for the military — is GM’s most extreme off-road capable, fuel-cell-powered electric vehicle. While the camouflaged, reinforced body of the truck might look cool, the truly extraordinary part of this vehicle is what’s on the inside. In addition to having a hydrogen-fuel cell that produces two gallons of water every hour, this specialized vehicle also has a removable battery that can be used to power anything — a feature that could prove useful during military operations.

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“Today’s handing over of the fuel-cell-powered electric Chevrolet Colorado ZH2 to TARDEC reaffirms that Michigan is at the forefront of the mobility industry, while also supporting the protection and growth of the state’s defense and homeland security,” Gov. Snyder said. “GM’s commitment to leading in both fuel-cell vehicle development and electrification demonstrates the mobility industry’s need for multiple sources of alternative propulsion development.”

Now that the vehicle has been handed over to TARDEC, the army will begin testing the Colorado ZH2 in extreme field conditions to determine the viability of hydrogen-powered vehicles on military missions. Specifically, the vehicle will be tested to evaluate near-silent operation enabling silent watch capability, reduced acoustic and thermal signatures, high wheel torque at all speeds via electric drive, and low fuel consumption across operating range.

TARDEC collaborated with GM to develop the Colorado ZH2 from contract to concept in about 16 months.