A new division of General Motors (GM) that delivers military vehicles, GM Defense, has just released a video of a work in progress — the hydrogen-fueled electric Silverado ZH2 pickup.
The vehicle was unveiled at the Association of the U.S. Army’s annual meeting in October, Fox News reported. The military truck resembles the forthcoming 2020 Silverado HD, sharing similar lighting and style of the grill, however, it bears a camouflaged design and is the ultimate in heavy duty.
The Silverado ZH2 pickup is a much bigger version of the Colorado ZH2, which is the undertaking of the U.S. Army’s Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center.
Similarities include the Multimatic spool valve shocks.
The Colorado ZH2 is still undergoing testing that began in 2017.
The Silverado ZH2 pickup will boast three tanks of hydrogen, which provides a Hydrotec-branded fuel cell that produces electricity and delivers surreptitious plus power over a range of 400 miles.
— Automobile Magazine (@automobilemag) November 8, 2018
In addition, the powertrain has a lower heat signature than an internal combustion engine, generating and producing drinkable water as its only emission.
This would greatly benefit the troops who would be able to adapt the pricey JP8 fuel into hydrogen on site, allowing for speedy refueling in comparison to charging a battery pack.
GM is also working on a hydrogen-powered fully-autonomous cargo vehicle called the SURUS, designed for the military.
SURUS stands for Silent Utility Rover Universal Superstructure and is a military-style vehicle that resembles a flatbed truck trailer or even a railroad flatcar.
It is powered by two electric motors and four-wheel steering and designed to be flexible enough to be reconfigured for various missions.
Charlie Freese, executive director of GM’s Global Fuel Cell Business said, “We think we can solve real problems for the modernization of the military, not just replacing vehicles that they have now, but making them more efficient, more capable.”
The Silverado ZH2 pickup, or anything even remotely similar to hydrogen-powered vehicles, is not available for purchase by consumers just yet. GM has been working with Honda on fuel cell expansion.
GM said by 2023 they will have 20 electric models in their lineup.
Freese said SURUS can be configured for various missions, such as carrying a capsule for transporting injured soldiers, or hauling large generators airdropped from a C-17 cargo plane or a Chinook helicopter.
He also said the flexibility of the SURUS could reduce the total number of vehicles the Army needs to buy, maintain, and move into a theater of war. Since the chassis is self-propelled, it could even eliminate some of the trucks that tow trailers overloaded with various items around the battlefield.