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General Motors and the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) on Monday (Oct. 3) revealed the Chevrolet Colorado ZH2 fuel cell electric vehicle, a concept that marries fuel cell technology and its advantages of on-board water production, exportable electric power and near silent operation with extreme off-road capability.

If Master Chief’s Truck Was Real, It’d Be This.

The Chevrolet Colorado might be the little brother truck in Chevrolet’s lineup. But give it a dose of military training, some hydrogen cell fuels, jacked up suspension and big boy tires, and it’s ready to replace Master Chief’s Warthog.

The Chevy Colorado ZH2 is General Motors’ response to the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC)’s call for a vehicle that is powered by hydrogen and can also withstand extreme field conditions.

TARDEC’s director Paul Rogers described the hydrogen push as something critical towards the advancement of military vehicles:

Fuel cells have the potential to expand the capabilities of Army vehicles significantly through quiet operation, exportable power and solid torque performance, all advances that drove us to investigate this technology further.

General Motors and TARDEC collaborated and produced the ZH2 from contract to conceptual vehicle in less than a year. Judging from these doctored photos, it doesn’t look like they have fully built concept just yet, but all of the features the ZH2 will supposedly have are all within the realm of possibilities.

The Chevrolet Colorado ZH2 fuel cell electric vehicle uses hydrogen as a fuel to power the truck based on Chevrolet’s midsize pickup. The rear of the vehicle contains an Exportable Power Takeoff unit, capable of providing 25kw to 50kw of electric power away from the vehicle. General Motors and the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) revealed the vehicle at the fall meeting of the Association of U.S. Army show in Washington, D.C. on Monday (Oct. 3).

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Top view of the Chevrolet Colorado ZH2 fuel cell electric vehicle shows the partial camouflage wrap and power dome. General Motors and the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) revealed the vehicle at the fall meeting of the Association of U.S. Army show in Washington, D.C. on Monday (Oct. 3).

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The 6.5 feet tall and 7 feet wide behemoth was first built upon the stretched midsize puny Colorado chassis. Reinforcements are then included inside and out to help bolster the normally-civilian truck to withstand military duty. Adding 37 inch tires and specially modified suspension should provide enough off-road capability to handle all sorts of terrain.

Inside the rear hatch of the Chevrolet Colorado ZH2 fuel cell electric vehicle is an Electric Power Takeoff unit, capable of providing 25kw of consistent electric power away from the vehicle, such as remote locations where electric power may otherwise be unavailable.

The Chevrolet Colorado ZH2 fuel cell electric vehicle rides on 37-inch tires and a specially modified suspension that helps the vehicle climb over and descend all manner of terrain.

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Integrated tow hooks and winch in the Chevrolet Colorado ZH2 fuel cell electric vehicle are featured for use when aggressive pulling is needed.

Under the power dome hood of the Chevrolet Colorado ZH2 fuel cell electric vehicle, the fuel cell system that has accumulated 3.1 million miles of real-world driving by civilian and military operators is ready for a year of extreme off-road testing as a U.S. Army demonstrator. General Motors and the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) revealed the vehicle at the fall meeting of the Association of U.S. Army show in Washington, D.C. on Monday (Oct. 3).

The Colorado ZH2 features an Exportable Power Take-Off unit (EPTO) that allows the fuel cell to power activity away from the vehicle, such as remote locations where electric power may otherwise be unavailable.

This will be a pretty awesome tool for setting up a Forward Operating Base and powering it up before reinforcements/resupply comes in.

The Chevrolet Colorado ZH2 fuel cell electric vehicle is a conventionally driven truck powered by hydrogen that is converted to electricity through a fuel cell system.

The 2+2 interior of the Chevrolet Colorado ZH2 fuel cell electric vehicle features Recaro seats.

We can’t wait to see a real version of this thing get produced and shred its tires all over the place. If we can make just one really tiny modification: we want to mount a .50 cal Ma Deuce in the back to help fend off some baddies. K Thnx!

(Source: GM)

 

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About Hansen

The engineer amongst the crew, Hansen once built a mini baja car with his bare hands. Hansen had the opportunity to join Honda’s R&D team in Ohio but chose the life of the east coast and the defense industry instead. A die hard auto enthusiast he religiously follows the auto industry and loves long walks in the auto shows.

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