U.S. To Create Purpose-Built Hydrogen Disaster Relief Vehicle

The U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Army will work together to develop a purpose-built disaster relief vehicle with a hydrogen fuel cell powertrain, CNET reports.

The U.S. Army has already collaborated with General Motors to develop the Chevrolet Colorado ZH2 fuel cell and sees a number of advantages with such a powertrain. For starters, a hydrogen vehicle can provide a source of power, heat, and potable water for up to 72 hours, things which could have helped greatly in emergency situations like the wildfires in California and Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas.

Also Read: GM Defense Shows Off New, Military-Spec Chevrolet Silverado ZH2

Limited details about the vehicle are known including when it could first be put to use. What we do know is that the vehicle has been dubbed ‘H2Rescue’ with the Army Corps of Engineers and various partners to begin issuing requests for proposals this fall before work kicks off.

Once the H2Rescue has been engineered and developed it will go through a feasibility study. Both the Department of Energy and Army are also planning a joint demonstration to showcase how a zero-emissions emergency vehicle is well suited to those in the field.

General Motors builds vehicles for the armed forces through its Defense division. In addition to the fuel cell Colorado ZH2 unveiled a couple of years ago, the company previewed its larger Silverado ZH2 late last year. That vehicle is powered by a next-generation fuel cell fed by three 700 bar hydrogen fuel tanks and is reportedly good for a range exceeding 400 miles (643 km).

Note: GM SURUS pictured

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