For now, the two have joined in building a modified Chevy Colorado.
A joint partnership between General Motors and the US Army Tank Automotive Research, Development, and Engineering Center (TARDEC) is hoping to develop an all new weapon for war. The two organizations have just announced that a hydrogen fuel cell-powered Chevy Colorado will debut in October, with the army testing it to see if such a vehicle is viable out on the battlefield. The Colorado has actually been in development 2015 when the two organizations signed the deal.
The agreement will benefit both the military (since it will gain insight on how vehicles powered by alternative energy sources work on the battlefield) and GM (because it will gain insight and experience with hydrogen vehicles). As much as it appears that eco-aspirations don’t mix with the usual requirements of war vehicles, hydrogen-powered cars actually make a lot of sense on the battlefield. Tactical advantages include stealthy, noise-free operation, low-end torque, and “exportable” fuel production. Nothing is wasted with hydrogen. Even the water vapor exhaust can be used in case extra water is needed. The obvious downside is that the military would have to find some way to protect the high-pressure fuel tank.
If left exposed the tank could be punctured with a single bullet. On the upside, as volatile as hydrogen is, it’s actually safer than gasoline. If a bullet punctures the tank the only result would be that the gas would rapidly escape into the atmosphere. On the other hand, punctured gas tanks leak and form a highly flammable puddle. While no clear images exist yet, we can tell from the silhouette provided that this Colorado has chunkier tires, slim headlights, and a roof rack of some sort. We'll have to wait until October to comb through the complete list of upgrades and to see the truck's complete specs. For now let’s just say that the future of warfare will change along with the auto industry.