GM and US Army Create Chevy Colorado-Based Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle
Today General Motors announced that it has teamed up with the US Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) to create a Chevy Colorado-based fuel cell electric vehicle. The collaborative EV will be revealed this October at the fall meeting of the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) in Washington, DC.
The vehicle can trace its genesis to the signing of an agreement between TARDEC and GM back in 2015. According to GM, the partnership allowed TARDEC to access consumer-driven automotive technology that could be used in military applications, while GM was able to receive valuable feedback on non-standard fuel cell technology applications.
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The Army will apparently use the vehicle to demonstrate the potential military advantages of a fuel cell electric propulsion and power generation systems, which include quieter vehicles, exportable power generation, water generation, and low-end torque. Next year, the Army will conduct demonstrations and solicit user assessments.
“Hydrogen fuel cells as a power source have the potential to bring to the force incredibly valuable capabilities,” said TARDEC Director Paul Rogers. “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,” Rogers added. “It also offers additional characteristics attractive to both commercial and military off-road use.”
Specific details of the vehicle are being kept secret by both GM and TARDEC, but Rogers did say that the Army is less focused on the platform and more on the technology and its potential capabilities.
“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 pursuing these opportunities along with our plans for production of a commercial fuel cell system in the 2020 time frame.”