Just a few years ago, rumors began to spread that General Motors was working on a new hydrogen-powered military vehicle dubbed the Chevy Silverado ZH2. Like the Chevy Colorado ZH2, the Silverado ZH2 was framed as an highly upgraded pickup motivated by a novel fuel-cell powertrain and fitted with extreme off-roading equipment suited for traversing the battlefield. Now, GM Authority has uncovered a few more interesting tidbits of this fascinating, advanced-tech military project.
GM Defense originally conjured up the Silverado ZH2 as a possible new vehicle to pitch to the U.S. Army. However, according to GM Defense President David Albritton, the project never moved beyond the concept phase.
“We never produced a working vehicle,” Albritton told GM Authority executive editor, Alex Luft, in a recent interview.
During the interview, Albritton explained that the goal of Silverado ZH2 project was part of General Motors’ desire to demonstrate that it could fit its HydroTec hydrogen fuel-cell powertrain technology into a variety of different vehicles. The tech was already fitted to the Chevy Colorado by way of the Colorado ZH2, so the Silverado ZH2 was a natural progression of that demonstration.
However, as Albritton points out, the Silverado ZH2 project was eventually axed due to a lack of interest.
“Silverado ZH2 saw no huge demand signal beyond what we saw with the Colorado ZH2,” the GM Defense President explains.
It was around this time that General Motors began work on the GM ISV (Infantry Squad Vehicle), a project which would eventually become a corner-stone program for GM Defense. Based on the Chevy Colorado ZR2 pickup truck, the GM ISV is designed to carry a nine-soldier infantry squad throughout the battlefield. Critically, the GM ISV leverages 90 percent commercial off-the-shelf parts, including the dual spool-valve dampers (DSSV). According GM ISV chief engineer Mark Dickens, the new ISV is essentially a Colorado ZR2 “from the waist down.”
Nevertheless, the Silverado ZH2 is still worthy of remembering – even if it was nothing more than a set of beastly renderings.