General Motors has plans to offer a new Medium Duty Chevy truck utilizing an all-electric powertrain, as GM Authority covered previously. In addition to this new all-electric MD Chevy, The General will also offer a Medium Duty Chevy Truck using hydrogen power with its HydroTec fuel cell technology.
Confirmation of the two upcoming Medium Duty Trucks comes from General Motors CEO Mary Barra, who announced the new products during a recent call with investors. Barra also said indicated that the Chevy trucks would be offered as a complement to the upcoming BrightDrop commercial fleet of vehicles. Although Barra declined to share further details, the new vehicles are not expected to launch until after the 2025 calendar year.
The inclusion of HydroTec fuel cell technology in a new Medium Duty Chevy truck is an interesting development. Currently framed as an “affordable hydrogen fuel cell power solution for land, air, and sea applications,” HydroTec technology has been around for the last 15 years or so, with first-gen Chevy Equinox models used as prototypes.
The technology was later used with the Chevy Colorado ZH2 concept, a military-spec pickup truck developed for the U.S. armed forces. Later, GM also developed a military-oriented Chevy Silverado concept dubbed the Silverado ZH2 using the same hydrogen fuel cell tech for motivation.
For those readers who may be unaware, hydrogen fuel cell tech works by extracting electricity from a chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen. By combining hydrogen and oxygen, a hydrogen fuel cell will generate heat and an electrical current, as well as water (H2O). The electricity generated is then directed into a battery, which in turn powers an onboard electric motor.
The benefits of hydrogen fuel cell technology include zero local emissions, low noise levels, high torque from the electric motor, and, unlike all-electric powertrains, quick refuel times, assuming access to a hydrogen fuel source.
Put that all together, and HydroTec fuel cells could be a good fit for a future Medium Duty Chevy truck.