Chevy’s Replacement for the HMMWV?
Doc Rader 10.07.16
Having spent a bunch of time inside, outside, and on-top of the diesel powered High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle, an iconic military off-road vehicle, I can attest to it’s ruggedness. And lack of comfort. Not that comfort is the biggest issue when you are driving in the badlands of Al Anbar (or wherever adventure may take you). That said, the armor upgrades required to survive the current battlefield were not in the original design specs and as such have created numerous headaches for the mechanics tasked with maintenance and repairs.
Like all good things, eventually there is innovation (and fat pentagon budgets) leading to new versions and technology that could give an edge on today’s (and tomorrow’s battlefields). In this case Chevy (via GM) is entering a new vehicle into the mix as a potential military battlefield truck: the Chevrolet Colorado ZH2. It is a hydrogen fuel-cell propelled electric vehicle. Weighing in at 3-tons, it has 37 inch tires, boasts a reinforced body, and stands at 6.5 feet tall.
The power system also provides some additional benefits such as a portable power generator (that can provide 25-50 Kw of power). And, as a waste product, the hydrogen fuel cell can produce up to two gallons of water an hour.
As an electric vehicle there is potential for much better torque, regaining a lot of the capability that was lost by the up armoring of the current trucks.
Over the next year the Army is going to be field testing and critically abusing the truck to see if it will meet the needs of the military. It almost makes me wish I was still in. Almost. 🙂