E ine fuel cells as an energy source for cars are still before futuristic, but now - see Toyota Mirai - at least easy to acquire for people with sufficient financial means. In the civil sector, the fuel cell drive should enable locally emission-free locomotion and thus provide a possible answer to environmental problems and dwindling fossil fuels.
With Chevrolet's latest concept, the Colorado ZH2, it works but not so much about blooming landscapes and clean air in city centers. Instead, the martially converted pickup is a study for the US Army. The advantages of the fuel cell drive, which Chevrolet praises, are correspondingly different.
The fuel cell module is stowed under the hood of the prototype. It produces the energy for an electric drive installed instead of the conventional motor. The battery module with external sockets is housed on the covered loading area. There is silence about the performance data of the engine, drive system and capacity of the traction battery.
From a military point of view, developers see some potential compared to combustion vehicles. The thermal signature is extremely low because there are no hot engine, drive or exhaust gas units. The low driving noise is also seen as an advantage from a tactical point of view. The high torque of the electric motor with corresponding traction advantages when driving slowly off-road is also praised.
Fuel cell supplies drinking water
GM even goes so far as to use the 'exhaust gases' of the fuel cell drive Escaping water should be collected and made available as drinking water. The drive battery can also be used as a power supply in camps.
The Chevrolet Colorado ZH2 is almost two meters high and stands on 37-inch tires. In addition, its lift chassis is designed for particularly large suspension travel to improve traction when driving slowly. General Motors developed the prototype together with Tardec, a research facility of the US military. First of all, the Chevrolet Colorado ZH2 is to be tested and optimized at General Motors, and a one-year field test with the US Army is planned from mid-2017.