A prototype of the Chevrolet Colorado midsize pickup that’s meant to run on a commercially made hydrogen fuel cell propulsion cell is currently in the works. However, it’s not meant for the consumers just yet.
This Colorado prototype is a collaboration between General Motors and the U.S. Army’s Tank Automotive Research, Development & Engineering Center (TARDEC). According to Charlie Freese, who is executive director for Global Fuel Cell Engineering Activities at GM, the collaboration is meant to test GM’s hydrogen fuel cell technology to its limits.
Freese said that collaborating with the military creates an opportunity for the company to use heavy military usage as a means to gauge the performance of the technology. As for TARDEC, its director Paul Rogers stated that the collaboration will give the outfit the opportunity to gauge the potential that hydrogen fuel cell technology can bring to the military.
Rogers described the potential of hydrogen fuel cell in military applications as extraordinary. According to Rogers, vehicles that run on the technology are quiet, making it a technology for military vehicles that specialize in tasks that require stealth, like scout vehicles.
Rogers also explained that FCVs can create water as well, which makes the vehicles environmentally friendly and also advantageous when used in austere environments. In addition, the technology gives vehicles exportable electric power, making it a must-have not just for the military but for commercially available vehicles as well.
In addition, the technology produces high low-end torque figures that are needed for off-road conditions. Hydrogen fuel cell propulsion technology helps address two major environmental challenges with automobiles today – petroleum use and carbon dioxide emissions.
Fuel cell vehicles can operate on renewable hydrogen from sources like wind and biomass. There’s only one emission and that is water vapor. These capabilities make hydrogen fuel cell propulsion technology an ideal technology that should be integrated into next-generation vehicles.
It totally eliminates petroleum use, and the resulting CO2 emissions. Instead of petroleum, the technology generates hydrogen from renewable sources and uses it to power the engines. The only by-product of the process is water vapor, which can be harnessed as well instead of emitted.
To facilitate the collaboration, GM and TARDEC built research facilities in both Pontiac and Warren in the state of Michigan. With the two facilities being only 20 minutes away from each other, it will be easy for the two entities to trade information on fuel cell designs and materials that will be used in the construction of equipment that use the technology.
GM is no stranger to fuel cell propulsion research. It began its efforts with the launch of the “Project Driveway” fleet in 2007. This fleet is comprised of 119 Chevrolet Equinoxes. More than 5,000 consumers participated in the project, achieving an accumulated mileage of 3 million miles.
Since the launch in 2014, the Chevrolet Colorado has raised the bar for midsize pickups with class-leading horsepower, torque, fuel economy, trailering capabilities and safety technologies. The Colorado provides true truck capabilities in a refined, fuel-efficient midsize package with three available powertrains.
Paired with the available 2.8L Duramax diesel, the Colorado is the most fuel-efficient pickup truck in America. More information on the Chevrolet Colorado can be found at www.chevrolet.com/colorado. The Chevrolet Colorado is the perfect choice for this undertaking.
It’s at the top of its class in terms of horsepower output, torque, fuel economy ratings, thresholds for trailering and the features intended to keep the driver safe. It’s available with three options for engines, with the 2.8L Duramax diesel engine being the most fuel-efficient among the three choices. Find out more about the Chevrolet Colorado at www.chevrolet.com/colorado.