General Motors and the U.S. Army's National Automotive Center will unveil a diesel-electric hybrid pickup with a fuel cell power generator Thursday at GM's Technical Center in Warren, MI.
The powertrain and the fuel cell power generator, Army officials say, could dramatically improve the safety of soldiers on the battlefield as well as save the Army millions in fuel costs, Automotive News reported.
The Chevrolet Silverado prototype truck has a GM-Isuzu Duramax V-8 diesel engine assisted by an electric motor. The engine and motor are mated to a heavy-duty Allison transmission.
The truck is equipped with a fuel cell auxiliary power unit that lets the truck run only on electric power, which would enable it to move without giving off noise and heat. The fuel cell power unit also could be used as a mobile electric generator that cannot be targeted by heat-seeking missiles, the Army said.
Dennis Ward, executive vp for technology transfer for the U.S. Army Tank Command, said the government spends hundreds of dollars per gallon to transport fuel to the battlefield. In Afghanistan, for example, fuel for Army vehicles is transported to bases by helicopter.