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GM Previews Hydrogen-Powered Chevrolet Colorado
Following a teaser from GM, the company has released another teaser image for its hydrogen-powered Chevrolet Colorado concept. The vehicle was developed with assistance from the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) as a compelling glimpse into the future of U.S. military vehicles and their potential use of zero-emissions technology on the battlefield.
The futuristic concept serves as an experiment that benefits both parties involved. In GM's case, it allows the company to receive feedback on fuel cell technology and the applications that it could be used in. In exchange, the Army can explore potential uses for the fuel cell powertrains which are typically designed for civilian applications. In addition to propelling the vehicle, the fuel cell stacks can generate electricity and water in the event that the truck and its occupants are in a location far from any supply lines or military installations. As a bonus, the electric drive system is much quieter than a traditional internal-combustion engine, which allows the truck to have a greater degree of stealth by being more difficult to be heard by enemy forces.
"With fuel cell technology advancing, it's an ideal time to investigate its viability in extreme military use conditions," stated TARDEC director Paul Rogers. "Fuel cell propulsion has low end torque capability that is useful in an off-road environment. It also offers additional characteristics attractive to both commercial and military off-road use." GM chose to hide the exterior styling of the concept beneath a shadowy veil, but look for the concept to share some of its basic themes with the production Colorado. However, look for the truck to also embrace its military roots and arrive with much more functional styling as well as military-grade body panels to allow it to tackle the rigors of battlefield use.
The concept will make its official public debut in October at the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) meeting in Washington D.C. While the concept will most likely remain a one-off piece with no chance of formal production, some of the technology and styling elements could eventually make their way into a new generation of light military vehicles which would surely be welcome by soldiers, especially those in active combat zones.
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