Fuel cell Colorado clean AND mean
Building an all- new, hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle is itself a daunting task. Engineering one that is offroad capable presented a new level of challenges for the team of engineers and stylists who unveiled Chevrolet’s Colorado ZH2 concept truck at the SEMA show last year. “The ZH2 integrates the strong foundation of the Colorado midsize pickup architecture with GM’s advanced hydrogen fuel cell propulsion technology,” said Jim Campbell, vice president, Chevrolet Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. “It combines the lessons Chevrolet has learned during 3.1 million real- world miles of testing hydrogen fuel cell- powered vehicles. It also reflects our commitment to expanding Chevrolet’s performance envelope off- road.” The Colorado ZH2 is no show pony, a demonstration version set to be tested by the US Army later this year to evaluate the effectiveness of a hydrogen fuel cell-powered off- road vehicle in mission settings. The bold appearance of the Colorado ZH2 was driven by the packaging requirements for the fuel cell system, stationary power generation and chassis hardware necessary for off-road performance. At the rear, the ZH2 features a clamshell cover that integrates air intakes feeding radiators honeycombed behind the rear doors. The chassis was designed and engineered for proper off-road use as indicated by the 37-inch BF Goodrich tyres mounted to 17-inch beadlock-equipped wheels. Power is transferred from the 93 kW fuel cell system to the 132-kW electric motor, which produces 236 lb.-ft. of instantaneous torque. That torque is then delivered to the transfer case and a four-wheel drive system with electronic locking differentials front and rear.
Chevrolet’s fuel-cell future is looking good.