GM delivered the first fuel cell-powered truck into U.S. military service today.
The U.S. Army took delivery of the crew cab pickup at the GM research facility outside of Rochester, NY, where the vehicle’s two fuel cell power modules were made.
The modified Chevrolet Silverado is equipped with two 94 kW fuel cell stacks, capable of generating 188 kW and 317 foot-pounds of torque, or roughly the motor torque generated by GM’s 5.3 liter V-8 engine. Three 10,000 psi compressed hydrogen storage tanks, provided by Quantum Technologies, will provide a range of 125 miles, even though the vehicle was not optimized for range.
GM had previously delivered a prototype Silverado diesel-electric hybrid with a fuel cell APU to the Army for testing and evaluation.
The U.S. Army has the largest fleet of vehicles in the world. Improving fuel economy and reducing the logistics of the fuel supply chain could save millions of dollars. For example, it cost the U.S. Army up to $400 a gallon of gas to ship fuel to Iraq and Afghanistan. (Not to mention the size and vulnerability of the fuel supply convoys.)
The U.S. Army will evaluate the experimental truck until July 2006 at an Army base in Ft. Belvoir, Va. The vehicle will be used to deliver packages but will not be used in combat. Rigorous testing is planned in different climates and locations around the U.S. to assess performance and give the military first-hand experience with hydrogen and fuel cells.