Chevrolet unveils the Colorado ZH2 fuel-cell electric pickup truck intended for use by the U.S. military. General Motors collaborated with the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) during the development of the ZH2. This little, by military standards, pickup truck will be evaluated for military duty, and GM is working to make this technology commercially viable by the year 2020.
This is not the highly anticipated production version of the ZR2 pickup truck. The ZH2 (H2: as in Hydrogen gas) is an off-road monster in its own right. It rides on a stretched Chevy Colorado chassis and tucks 37-inch BFGoodrich MudTerrain tires for plentiful ground clearance. The stretched wheelbase allows for excellent approach and departure angles. The suspension has been modified and the truck’s overall height is a full 7.4 inches taller than a production Chevy Colorado 4×4 you can buy today. Oh yea, it also has a winch up front. The ZH2 is meant to go where few other vehicles can go.
Once you get past the macho appearance, the big story is on the inside. It is the hydrogen fuel-cell power plant that provides electric drive for this 4×4 system. Naturally, having an electric pickup truck has its tactical benefits: near silent operation, reduced thermal signature, high torque for crawling over rough terrain, water by-product that can be used in a remote area, and electric power take-off for operating in generator mode.
GM will complete calibration testing of the ZH2 at the Milford Proving Grounds and turn it over to the Army for a year of field testing.
This is actually a second fuel-cell powered vehicle that GM has collaborated with military on. In June of 2016, the U.S. Navy unveiled a hydrogen fuel-cell Unmanned Undersea Vehicle (UUV) that is currently undergoing testing.
TFLtruck is in Washington D.C. and we will have an in-depth video interview about the ZH2 and what it may mean for consumers in the future. Please stay tuned for this.