War? Huh. Good God y’all. What is it good for? Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles it would seem, as this new beastie from Chevrolet proves. Or at least, is hoping to prove. This is one of those cars that makes you think “man, we DO live in the future!” It’s a Chevrolet Colorado to look at, but that’s just about where the similarity between this and its road-going brother ends.
Built with the U.S Army in mind, this Chevrolet Colorado hopes to be the ultimate machine for mobilising troops and carrying out covert missions. Why covert? Well, other than the crunch from those 37inch tyres rolling on the ground, this 6ft7 tall and 7ft wide monster is silent. Perfect for sneaking up on baddies.
Chevrolet Colorado – War Machine
The hydrogen fuel cell technology ensures no dependency on fossil fuels. Which is good when you’re in the middle of nowhere. Admittedly, hydrogen fuel isn’t plentiful either. But, it does go a lot further. Plus, the by-product is water, which is handy if you’re in the desert. Furthermore, the electric power generated ensure torque by the truck-load. Again, vital when off the road most followed.
Interestingly though, and this is what really excites us, the fuel cell can be used as power for other things. This truck could serve as a mobile base with plentiful amounts of power. It really could be a lifesaving vehicle in the field. Imagine if they were purposed in a medical capacity? You’d have a ‘go anywhere’ hospital on wheels!
Chevrolet Colorado – Testing Times
“The speed with which innovative ideas can be demonstrated and assessed is why relationships with industry are so important to the Army,” said Paul Rogers, director of Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC). “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.”
He’s not wrong. Though before anyone gets too excited, further testing needs to take place. But, because we’re talking about the Army here, that testing will be pretty intense. “The Colorado ZH2 is a terrific example of GM’s engineering and design skill in creating an off-road vehicle relevant to a range of potential users,” said Charlie Freese, executive director of GM Global Fuel Cell Activities. “Over the next year, we expect to learn from the Army the limits of what a fuel cell propulsion system can do when really put to the test.”
This is all exciting stuff. GM has accumulated 3.1 million miles of hydrogen fuel cell testing via Project Driveway, a 119-vehicle fleet driven by more than 5,000 people in a multi-year fuel cell experience program, so it knows what it’s doing.
While the Chevrolet Colorado isn’t going to be as effective as the battling front-line machinery, it has the potential to be an integral and crucial part to operations in the field. War is a horrible game, but it’s one we sadly have to play. Tech like this, however, is the key to putting the strength on our side. This could be the start of massive things for military vehicles. Bravo, Chevrolet.