The Army’s Hydrogen Chevy Colorado Is Better In Battle Than A Humvee


Who would have known that environmentalists’ favorite technology would be perfect for battle?

Some car geeks grow up and become cogs in the very industry that produces the machines that they love, and whether that’s sports cars or huge trucks, there are many ways to get involved. One of the more obscure methods is by getting a job at TARDEC, an acronym that stands for United States Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center. Building heavy vehicles that blow things up sounds cool enough, right? Apparently, GM thought so too and decided to start a project to build a new war machine with TARDEC.

The donor vehicle for the project was set to be the Chevy Colorado, and after hearing about the project’s commencement a few months earlier we now see the results of the experiment. The modified Chevy Colorado we see here is called the ZH2 and despite the fact that it looks like it’s built to tear enemies apart in the theater of war, it’s actually a vehicle that’s friendly to the environment. That’s because the powertrain of the truck is made up of electric motors gathering energy from a hydrogen fuel cell. No, this doesn’t mean the military us ditching Humvees for econo boxes (on the contrary actually), it’s because hydrogen cars have practical applications on the battlefield.

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For one, hydrogen vehicles are silent enough for stealth operations and don’t produce as much heat, useful for dodging heat-seeking missiles or thermal cameras. Additionally, hydrogen vehicles emit water out of the tailpipe that can be collected to supply thirsty soldiers in desert climates or add to a camp’s cache or H2O. To accommodate for the 37-inch tires and beefed up suspension, the ZH2 was raised and stretched until it reached 6.5 feet in height and spanned 7 feet across. Unless you work for TARDEC, you won’t be able to drive this vehicle because it will be used as a test mule for the Army. With extreme weather testing on the horizon, both the US Army and GM stand to learn quite a bit about hydrogen cars during this venture.