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Meet The US Army’s Futuristic, Hydrogen-Powered Stealth Truck

The truck is almost two meters in both height and width, and weighs nearly 3,000 kilograms.
Although large, the Chevy is essentially a stealth-mobile—the ride is quiet with a low thermal signature.

The Chevrolet Colorado ZH2 is a mammoth of a vehicle. It’s almost two meters (6.5 feet) in both height and width, weighs nearly 3,000 kilograms (6,600 pounds), features flared wheel arches, a jacked-up ride, narrow slotted headlights, and a camouflage paint job. The pickup was developed by General Motors and the US Army’s Tank Automotive Research, Development, and Engineering Center (TARDEC).

The Chevy is essentially a stealth-mobile—the ride is quiet with a low thermal signature. The electric truck is powered by hydrogen fuel that runs around 60°C (140°F) cooler than a diesel pickup. The hydrogen fuel cell offers “the ability to position yourself at a point of advantage on the battlefield, without exposing yourself,” according to TARDEC Director Paul Rogers.

Rogers adds, “What’s more, fuel cells generate water as a by-product, something extremely valuable in austere environments.” Hydrogen fuel cell propulsion technology helps address two major environmental challenges with automobiles today: fossil fuel use and carbon dioxide emissions.

The truck may seem like a wonder of technology, but it’s not without caveats. In the ZH2’s launch at the Association of the U.S. Army conference in Washington, senior project engineer Christopher Colquitt was questioned about the safety of hydro-power vehicles, especially in reference to the Hindenburg disaster. General Motors insisted their top-of-the-line tech and safety: The tanks of compressed hydrogen are composed of an inch of carbon fiber to keep the hydrogen away from fire and air.

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