GM, TARDEC tease Chevy Colorado fuel cell vehicle

Melissa Burden
The Detroit News

A Chevrolet Colorado-based hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle that will be tested in military use will be revealed in October, General Motors Co. and the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) said Tuesday.

The company and TARDEC will showcase the vehicle at the Association of the United States Army’s fall meeting. They released a teaser shot of the vehicle, but did not reveal any vehicle specifics.

In November, GM and TARDEC announced an agreement to develop the vehicle. The Army is slated to begin testing the vehicle in 2017.

TARDEC likes fuel-cell capability because of its capabilities in off-road environments and because it is quiet. It will be looking to demonstrate its propulsion and things such as exportable power generation, low-end torque and water generation.

“Hydrogen fuel cells as a power source have the potential to bring to the force incredibly valuable capabilities,” TARDEC director Paul Rogers said. “We expect the vehicle to be quiet in operation and ready to provide electricity generation for needs away from the vehicle.”

GM will use feedback from a nontraditional fuel-cell application in its development of the technology, which it has been working on for decades.

The automaker has a long-term agreement with Honda to co-develop a fuel-cell system and hydrogen storage technologies that could be available around 2020.

GM and TARDEC have a history of working together. In September 2013, they announced they were expanding a collaboration to develop hydrogen fuel-cell technology, which they said then could last up to five years. They have partnered to work together on new fuel cell designs and materials. In early 2012, the Army unveiled a fleet of 16 GM hydrogen-powered fuel-cell vehicles.

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