Meet The Chevrolet Colorado ZH2, A Hydrogen-Powered, Off-Road Monster Truck Made For U.S. Army

The Chevrolet Colorado ZH2 could eventually change the landscape of military vehicles.

The U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) and General Motors collaborated to develop the Chevrolet Colorado ZH2 hydrogen fuel cell electric truck, which could pave the way for a stealthy new mode of military transportation. When you’re slinking behind enemy lines, the last thing you want is to be detected. The only sound you’ll hear as it approaches is the crunch of the ground beneath its big mud tires. And its heat profile is almost invisible to infrared cameras.

This is clearly not your average Chevrolet Colorado.

Through the army’s testing, the Colorado ZH2 will be put through its paces to see if it’s capable enough to take on the toughest tasks. In turn, it will potentially expose weaknesses and benefits of hydrogen-powered vehicles for the U.S. Army.

This truck is powered by 170-horsepower electric motor that receives its juice from a hydrogen fuel cell. It’s not the latest GM’s fuel cell setup, but it does serve as a good starting point for military testing in a variety of durability and feasibility situations that simulate everything from reconnaissance to combat.

The hydrogen fuel cell also provides juice to a separate electric generator housed behind a top-hinged trunk where the standard Colorado’s bed would be. An electric generator could eventually replace the loud, inefficient diesel generators the armed forces currently lug behind their Humvees to power their communications devices. The hydrogen-powered fuel cell in the ZH2 can export up to 25 kW of electric power and generate up to two gallons of useable water per hour from its only emission, which is water vapor.

Underneath, the ZH2 is basically an off-road ready Colorado ZR2 with a slightly lifted suspension, 37-inch BF Goodrich Mud-Terrain off-road rubber, beefier skid plates, and rocker panel-protecting tubular rails. It’s mostly off-the-shelf stuff that makes an already capable four-wheeler more durable.

The ZH2 is not a combat vehicle because it isn’t armored, but it could put snipers behind enemy lines, in style.
Go ahead and check out the Colorado ZH2 strutting its stuff in the video below.

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