General Motors Co. and the U.S. Army have developed a new stealth military truck that can help soldiers in the field in more ways than one. The Chevrolet ZH2 off-road truck has something that other military 4×4 don’t; it doesn’t run on typical hydrogen fuel.
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The 6½-foot truck has a hydrogen source but when combined with oxygen in the fuel cells, the exhaust by-product is water. Water that troops can drink if they’re out in the field for an extended period of time.
The truck will also make those inside of it harder to see on thermal imagery. Since there is no fuel being burned, it doesn’t give off a heat signature. This could have massive implications for spec-ops missions that run during the night.
According to CNN, the truck is substantially quieter than other military trucks. Besides the “whoosh” that happens when the vehicle is started up, it is quiet. There is no diesel running in the truck, so noise is reduced drastically.
Soldiers can now rely on the exhaust of this vehicle to give them a sustainable water source. “We’re not doing it in this vehicle, but it is possible for us to take the exhaust gas from the engine, or the fuel cell, and actually create potable water,” said Brian Butrico, with the U.S. Army’s Research and Development and Engineering Command. “The soldiers can actually create their own drinking water as they’re operating the vehicle.”
The truck doesn’t need to be fill up often either. In three minutes the truck will be completely filled and will last 200 to 300 miles but can be pushed as far as 400 miles, according to Charlie Freese, executive director for GM’s fuel cell business.
“Our machine will take JP8, which is the common military fuel, and convert it right into hydrogen,” said Butrico. Where ever it goes, it can make its own fuel.”
This multi-facilitated vehicle is an example of how the military will be able to use vehicles to help support soldiers in the field.