Midsize pickup to endure a year of extreme testing.
While a new 2.8-liter Duramax turbodiesel I-4 has been added to the 2016 Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon pickups in their sophomore year, GM is now working with the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development & Engineering Center (TARDEC) to build a Colorado with a hydrogen fuel cell propulsion system. The truck will be tested under extreme military testing for 12 months.
“Hydrogen fuel cell technology is important to GM’s advanced propulsion portfolio, and this enables us to put our technology to the test in a vehicle that will face punishing military duty cycles,” said Charlie Freese, executive director of GM’s Global Fuel Cell Engineering activities, in a release.
Benefits of fuel cell propulsion include low-end torque production for off-road driving, exportable electric power, and quiet operations, according to GM.
“The potential capabilities hydrogen fuel cell vehicles can bring to the Warfighter are extraordinary, and our engineers and scientists are excited about the opportunity to exercise the limits of this demonstrator,” said TARDEC Director Paul Rogers. “FCVs are very quiet vehicles, which scouts, special operators and other specialties place a premium. What’s more, fuel cells generate water as a by-product, something extremely valuable in austere environments.”
Both GM and TARDEC have fuel cell development and research facilities in Michigan easing the collaboration between the two entities.
Unlike conventional powertrains, hydrogen fuel cell propulsion does not use petroleum or produce carbon dioxide emissions. Hydrogen can be created by renewable sources including wind and biomass, while water vapor is the only emission.
GM says more project details on the project will be released later.