• GM is working with the US Army in order to develop hydrogen fuel cell powertrain.

GM is working with the US Army in order to develop hydrogen fuel cell powertrain. (Photo : Reuters)

General Motors is working together with the United States Army's Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) in order to create and test a new Chevrolet Colorado that is powered by a hydrogen fuel cell powertrain.

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The project will undergo 12 months of extreme military-grade testing in order to determine whether it passes the grade or not.

TARDEC director Paul Rogers told CNet, "FCV's (fuel-cell vehicles) are very quiet vehicles, which scouts, special operators and other specialties place a premium. What's more, fuel cells generate water as a by-product, something extremely valuable in austere environments."

Hydrogen fuel cells work by mixing compressed hydrogen gas and fresh air in order to create electricity, which in turn charges the batteries that power the electric motors. The engine's only by-product is clean water.

A powertrain driven by hydrogen fuel cells generate a lot of low-end torque, which is very beneficial in off-road environments. The fuel cell's batteries are also useful in powering other devices, which makes it an ideal portable power source.

The US Army did not provide any details regarding how the vehicle will be tested. The only thing clear is that it will undergo military-grade tests in order to prove the car's viability. The tests will also determine and pick some of its weaknesses and flaws in order to be developed even further.

According to the Left Lane News, the purpose of the project is not the militarization of hydrogen-fueled vehicles. The main objective of the project is for the advancement of fuel cell technology in order to develop its potential civilian and light tactical uses.