Will be unveiled on October 3.
General Motors has teamed up with the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) to work on a fuel cell electric vehicle based on the Chevy Colorado. The joint effort represents a component of the agreement signed between the two parties last year to modify automotive technology for military purposes.
The army wants try out fuel cell electric propulsion and power generation systems starting next year when it will conduct a series of tests and demonstrations to show the benefits the hardware can bring. One of the advantages GM points out would have to be the low-end torque provided by the electric motors which are also quiet, thus making them ideal for a military vehicle that does not want to attract a lot of attention.
With the torque being available right away, electric motors are suitable for a heavy military vehicle that needs to go over obstacles and climb hills. There’s also an advantage brought by the fuel cells which generate water as a by-product that could be put to good use in a remote area. Featuring a fuel cell powertrain, it would mean the vehicle used for military applications would not have to be dependent on the electric grid, representing yet another important advantage.
As for the Colorado itself, we only have an official teaser image for now that shows it will get a substantially beefier body and slender LED headlights. We modified the exposure and brightness of the photo to try and reveal more details, and you can easily notice the huge wheel arches, chunky off-road tires, and a very generous ground clearance.
It will be interesting to see whether the military-spec Colorado fuel cell vehicle will serve as foundation for a civilian variant in the years to come. We do know from Charlie Freese, executive director of GM’s Global Fuel Cell Activities, the company wants to have in production a commercial fuel cell system by the end of the decade.
Getting back to the military-ready Colorado, it will be introduced on October 3 during the meeting of the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) in Washington, D.C.
Source: General Motors