GM Produces Hydrogen Pickup Truck for U.S. Army
General Motors is working with the U.S. Army’s Tank Automotive Research, Development, and Engineering Center (TARDEC) to develop a hydrogen fuel cell-powered pickup truck that holds out the prospect of “an electric, zero-emissions ride” in place of standard diesel and gasoline engines.
GM and the Army introduced the Chevrolet truck earlier this month, and a year of field testing begins in 2017.
Like this story? Subscribe to The Energy Mix and never miss an edition of our free e-digest.
“An electric truck offers plenty of upside on the battlefield,” Wired notes. “It runs more quietly than gas- and diesel-powered vehicles, helpful for stealthy operations. It also runs cooler, which means it won’t show up on thermal cameras as clearly.”
And while civilians look to Tesla for proof of the torque and acceleration an electric motor can deliver, “what’s fun in a sedan can be crucial in a military truck off-roading on enemy terrain.”
The Chevy ZH2 “runs a 92-kW fuel cell, which combines hydrogen with oxygen to generate electricity, leaving nothing but water as a byproduct,” reports correspondent Jack Stewart. “Along with a battery that recaptures kinetic energy when braking, the drivetrain produces 174 horsepower, which feeds one motor, linked to all four wheels. GM’s already thinking about giving each axle its own motor.”
Stewart points to rapid refuelling as “the key advantage” of a fuel cell vehicle. “You pump the tank full in a few minutes, instead of plugging it in and waiting a few hours,” he notes. “As a bonus, the ZH2’s fuel cell produces about two gallons of water an hour, potentially useful in hostile deserts. You could even use the truck as a clean, quiet, generator to power auxiliary equipment.” (h/t to former Smarter Shift staffer Andrew Horsfield for pointing us to this story)