General Motors and the United States Army have teamed up to develop the Chevrolet ZH2, a truck completely powered by a hydrogen fuel-cell capable of transforming said hydrogen into potable drinking water.
The way it works is: As the engine operates, the heated hydrogen gas emitted from the fuel cell comes into contact with outside oxygen. Then a special tank inside the motor converts the mixture to fresh drinking water, which can be collected from the tailpipe. Since the truck does not emit noxious gases and exhaust fumes, the water collected is uncontaminated and completely safe to drink.
This could serve as a monumental advantage for soldiers in arid environments who, if stranded and without an immediate source of water, could sustain themselves while in potential life-threatening situations. The ZH2 would also give soldiers a tactical advantage. Because it runs on hydrogen it burns zero fossil fuels, leaving no emissions and subsequently lowering the vehicles heat signature by a significant margin (as to keep it from being easily detected by a combatant using heat-sensing night vision technology). This technology also makes the truck quieter and less likely to give away position.
It’s also functional and efficient. The Chevy Colorado was used to create the prototype for the ZH2, allowing for a durable suspension and 4-Wheel Drive so it can cover any manner of terrain. Approximately 5 to 6 kilograms of hydrogen are used to power the vehicle (much of it being used to convert internal heat to electricity) and can travel upwards of 400 miles before needing to be recharged. Once recharging is necessary, it only takes 3 minutes to complete the entire process.
Though the ZH2 is currently being touted primarily for military use, engineers are trying to create a commercial version to be made available to the public. Chevrolet has been busy harnessing the power of hydrogen and, with the ZH2, they’re blazing a path to new heights of military maneuverability and eco-friendly automotive ingenuity.