GM-Army Partnership to Develop Chevrolet Colorado Fuel-Cell Truck for Military Use

August 30, 2016 by Clarissa Hawes

General Motors and the U.S. Army announced Tuesday that they have collaborated to build a Chevrolet Colorado that uses hydrogen to power its mid-size pickup truck.

GM and the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center, TARDEC, signed an agreement in 2015 to test GM’s fuel-cell technology in extreme military conditions.

The hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle will be revealed at the Association of the United States Army’s fall meeting in October.

Hydrogen fuel cells convert high-energy hydrogen into electricity, which can be recharged, GM said.

“Hydrogen fuel cells as a power source have the potential to bring to the force incredibly valuable capabilities,” said Paul Rogers, TARDEC director. “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.”

In exchange for GM’s hydrogen-powered vehicle, TARDEC will provide the automotive company, headquartered in Detroit, Michigan, with feedback on how it performs using military applications.

“The project is another example of how fuel cell propulsion can play a role in non-traditional applications,” said Charlie Frees, 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 timeframe.”

This isn’t GM’s first military partnership. In June, the automotive giant announced it was collaborating with the U.S. Navy on using hydrogen fuel-cell technology to power underwater unmanned vehicles.

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