Chevy built a stealthy, hydrogen-powered pickup for the U.S. Army

The U.S. Army gets all the best toys. From rocket-equipped helicopters to hovercraft to Oshkosh’s L-ATV, there isn’t a modern machine our military can’t test.

The latest piece of forward-thinking technology comes from General Motors, and it doesn’t just look wild — lurking beneath the surface of its inflated panels is a truly remarkable powertrain. Chevrolet’s ZH2 vehicle is based on its Colorado pickup and has been co-developed with the U.S. Army’s Tank Automotive Research, Development, and Engineering Center (TARDEC).

Not only is this thing much larger than a standard Colorado — it’s 6.5 feet tall and 7 feet wide — it uses a zero emissions hydrogen fuel cell drivetrain. The only sound coming from this rig will be gravel crunching beneath its oversized tires. Apart from the electric powertrain, the ZH2 is equipped with flared wheel arches, a camouflage exterior, LED light bar, and plenty of extra ground clearance.

The vehicle was introduced at the fall meeting of the Association of the United States Army and is scheduled to run tests throughout 2017.

“I’ve got to figure out how to get on the bases, so I can have some of the fun,” says Charlie Freese, who leads GM’s fuel cell program.

There are some benefits and drawbacks to a hydrogen-powered military vehicle. The most obvious benefit is its inherent stealth. Without those bright lights on, the ZH2 can creep along without the hum of a traditional gas or diesel engine. The water byproduct of hydrogen’s mix of water and oxygen could also be useful in desert climates.

Unfortunately, hydrogen fuel cells can’t be powered by readily available fuel sources and any mechanical issues will undoubtedly be harder to diagnose for an army engineer than a standard motor. If the American military were to make a switch to emissions-free vehicles down the road, it would need to train its maintenance staff for quick fixes.

The ZH2 uses a 92-kW fuel cell that produces 174 horsepower, sent to all four wheels via a single motor. That doesn’t sound like much for a go-anywhere-do-anything vehicle, and the GM is already considering additional motors at each wheel (like some modern supercars).

For those already wondered when American consumers can get their hands on this kind of technology, remember that Toyota’s Mirai uses hydrogen fuel cell power and Tesla is already at work on an EV pickup. It’s coming, folks.

Home Theater

GoPro changed how we watch. Now Jabra wants to change how we listen

Jabra and Red Bull spent two years developing the perfect action microphone, aiming to capture the sounds of athletes without wind or background noise. Here’s how the game-changing tech works, and where you’ll hear it in the future.
Computing

Google Chrome 70 is finally getting a picture-in-picture mode

Picture-in-picture mode is finally coming to Google Chrome 70 on Mac, Linux, and Windows. The feature not only applies to YouTube but also any other website where developers have chosen to implement it.
Cars

'4WD' or 'AWD'? Which setup is right for you?

Although four-wheel drive (4WD) and all-wheel drive (AWD) are related, they are actually quite different in how they operate. Here, we talk about the fundamental differences between the two systems, and what it means for you as a driver.
Smart Home

Publish a new Alexa skill this month and Amazon will give you an Echo Dot

Amazon' Alexa group announced a promotion encouraging new developers to publish a new Alexa skill in any country First-time developers who publish a new an Alexa skill prior to midnight October 31, 2018, will get a free Echo Dot.
Cars

At 503 mph, Turbinator II is the world’s fastest wheel-driven vehicle

The Turbinator II is a four-wheel drive streamliner powered by a 5,000-horsepower helicopter engine, and it just achieved 503.332 mph at the Bonneville Salt Flats. That's an unofficial record for a wheel-driven car.
Cars

Lyft has a new fixed-price subscription plan for frequent passengers

Lyft wants you to save money by using rideshare services instead of owning a car. The new Lyft All-Access Plan monthly rideshare trip subscription includes 30 rides a month with a small discount for additional trips.
Product Review

Audi's new A8 is so sophisticated and serene, it practically deletes potholes

The 2019 Audi A8’s outline looks promising: Level 3 autonomous driving capability, haptic-feedback infotainment screens, rear-wheel steering, Matrix LED headlights and OLED taillights, plus a predictive suspension.
Cars

Could the next Mazda3 boast a fuel-saving breakthrough in engine tech?

Mazda released a teaser video that likely previews the next Mazda3. Expected to make its global debut at the L.A. auto show, the next 3 will wear a more curvaceous design and offer one of the most advanced engines in the automotive…
Cars

Workhorse takes on diesel with lighter, cheaper NGEN-1000 electric delivery van

Ohio-based Workhorse Group claims its new NGEN-1000 electric delivery van costs the same as a conventional diesel van and can haul a similar amount of cargo. A lower curb weight makes this possible.
Cars

Forget transponders with Peasy’s nationwide pay-as-you-go toll service

Verra Mobility launched Peasy, a consumer highway and bridge toll payment service. Designed to be less hassle than managing traditional transponder or toll tag accounts, Peasy pays tolls as they are levied across most of the U.S.
Cars

Just 10 people will get to put this limited-edition Audi R8 in their garages

The 2018 Audi R8 V10 Plus Competition makes use of Audi's motor sports experience to turn up the performance dial. Decreased weight and increased aerodynamic downforce make this R8 a track monster.
Cars

Porsche’s all-electric Taycan sedan will cost less than a Panamera

Porsche's Mission E concept won't change much as it transitions to a production model named Taycan that's scheduled to arrive in 2019. That means the sedan will keep the sleek design and its 800-volt charging system.
Cars

Bored with stock? The best tuner cars are begging to be modified

Modification has been around almost as long as the automobile itself. Here are 25 of the best tuner cars you can find, ranging from American muscle standouts to Japanese drift cars.
Cars

Tesla keeps promise with more affordable Model 3 with midrange battery pack

Tesla is keeping its promise of making the Model 3 gradually more affordable. The company released a new variant of the car with a mid-range, 260-mile battery option that's priced under the $50,000 mark.