Is this $4 million prototype Chevy Colorado ZH2 the new Humvee? Powered by a hydrogen fuel cell this whisper quiet military prototype Chevy Colorado ZH2 is being put through its paces by the Military with the Fast Lane Truck guys along for a ride. Costing 4 million odd dollars I am not surprised that the FTL guys were declined a request to drive it themselves. As a stealth vehicle this would be ideal. Apart from noise coming from those super size tires, the only mechanical noise is from the air compressor and this is really only noticeable at higher altitudes where this review was being made.
How is Hydrogen used to power a vehicle?
According to Wikipedia:- ” It is either by burning hydrogen in an internal combustion engine, or by reacting hydrogen with oxygen in a fuel cell to run electric motors. [ In this review the Colorado is powered by the latter. ] As of 2016, there are 3 hydrogen cars publicly available in select markets; the Toyota Mirai, the Hyundai ix35 FCEV, and the Honda Clarity. Several other companies are working to develop hydrogen cars. As of 2014, 95% of hydrogen is made from natural gas. It can be produced using renewable sources, but that is an expensive process. Integrated wind-to-hydrogen (power to gas) plants, using electrolysis of water, are exploring technologies to deliver costs low enough, and quantities great enough, to compete with hydrogen production using natural gas. The drawbacks of hydrogen use are high carbon emissions intensity when produced from natural gas, capital cost burden, low energy content per unit volume, production and compression of hydrogen, and the large investment in infrastructure that would be required to fuel vehicles. “
Consequently it doesn’t look as if hydrogen is going to significantly change the universe relying on fossil fuels anytime soon. With a top speed of 62mph it seems the performance of the Colorado is much the same as the Willys Jeep when these were first developed back in the early 1940″s.
Could Hydrogen be the fuel of the future? Right now it doesn’t look that way
Chevy Colorado ZR2 Off-Road Review
Back to reality it seems Chevy are out to compete with Jeep with its off road capability due to the improvements made to the Colorado, their medium sized pickup competing in this most popular buyers market. The most notable change is the Colorado now has a locking front diff that can be locked independently of the rear diff. This gives it very good off-road capabilities as is demonstrated in this rugged trail, but no doubt GM would have made sure the Colorado was capable of navigating it first. The FTL guys were given 2 Colorado’s, the V6 3.6L gas engine, 308hp 275 ft.lbs torque with the 8 speed auto, and the 2.8L Duramax diesel putting out 186hp, 369 ft.lbs torque mated to the 6 speed auto. I have reviews of the Colorado diesel towing here, and here also.
Its surprising where a vehicle can go when driven with patience and be easy on the throttle.
Thank you to FastLaneTrucks for these interesting reviews, and to Wikipedia Photos are screen shots from the videos.