GM and US Army Intro Fuel-Cell-Powered Military Vehicle

April 03, 2005 by Jeff Shepard

The US Army, in partnership with General Motors Corp. (GM, Detroit, MI) introduced the military's first-ever fuel-cell-powered vehicle. The truck, a modified Chevrolet Silverado Crew Cab pickup, was rolled out at GM's fuel cell research center in upstate New York. The vehicle will be used for non-tactical applications at Fort Belvoir, VA, for a 16-month evaluation period.

The all-wheel drive vehicle is equipped with two 200-cell stacks delivering a maximum of 188 kW to independent front and rear drive systems that give the 7,603 lb pickup a top speed of 93 mph. With a maximum torque rating of 317 lb-ft, the vehicle exhibits acceleration similar to a conventional V8-powered model. Initially the vehicle will use three 350 bar (5,000 psi) hydrogen storage tanks, chosen to match the hydrogen fueling equipment at Fort Belvoir. The tanks will be upgraded to 700 bar (10,000 psi) units during the evaluation period, which will give the vehicle a maximum range of 125 miles.

GM Vice President of Environment and Energy Elizabeth Lowery stated, "We are tremendously excited about this new commercial truck for military purposes. It's an important advance incorporating advanced fuel cell technology and introducing the military to the flexibility and security of fuel cell power."