Chevrolet Silverado ZH2 Hydrogen fuel cell truck

This Badass Off-Road Silverado Runs on Hydrogen

Chevrolet showed the Silverado ZH2 at the 2018 AUSA Defense Show. It recently popped up online on the GM Defense website. This truck looks amazing, but what do we really know about it?

Chevrolet Silverado ZH2

What we do know is that the Chevrolet Silverado ZH2 is a hydrogen fuel cell truck developed for military and search-and-rescue applications. We don’t know a ton more besides what we can see from the video on the GM Defense website.

Chevrolet Silverado ZH2

GM Defense says the Chevrolet Silverado ZH2 is “the first heavy-duty truck architecture capable of supporting the next generation of vehicle requirements for higher payload, flexible configuration, longer range, and faster refueling times with more compact and capable propulsion system.”

That all sounds awesome, especially for adventure vehicle applications. The video provides some clues on how GM plans to deliver on these lofty design goals.

Hydrogen Fuel Cell Powertrain

Chevrolet Silverado ZH2 Hydrogen fuel cell truck

It all revolves around a Hydrotec hydrogen fuel cell powertrain. Three 700-bar hydrogen tanks, a bank of Joultec lithium-ion batteries, and what looks like two electric motors make up the system. All of these components are mounted down low between the frame rails. GM Defense is touting an over-400-mile range, plenty to get to remote adventure locations around the globe.

Off-Road Prowess

The video also shows that the truck is designed for use in the rocks, mud, and snow. This is no doubt a proper off-road truck. We assume it has four-wheel drive, as it has an electric motor at each end of the truck.

Chevrolet Silverado ZH2 Hydrogen fuel cell truck
The Chevrolet Silverado ZH2 is one badass looking truck and its exhaust is just water!

Bead-lock wheels, bumper-mounted recovery hooks, a winch, skid plates, aggressive tires, and LED off-road driving lights let you know this truck means business. The truck also features race-proven DSSV spool valve shocks, which we know work great from our time in the current Colorado ZR2.

Colorado ZH2
Chevy Colorado ZR2

Mission Ready

The Chevrolet Silverado ZH2 is the follow-up to the Colorado ZH2, which debuted in 2017. Both are test beds for showcasing the capabilities of hydrogen fuel cell powertrains in rugged, demanding applications.

Chevrolet Silverado ZH2 Hydrogen fuel cell truck

Who wouldn’t want an off-road-ready, long-range vehicle that can easily haul big gear loads and is easy, quick, and inexpensive to refuel?! To top it off, it is extremely low-impact on the environment and runs super quiet. Think about the wildlife you could see on your off-road adventures that wouldn’t immediately bolt at the noise of a typical internal combustion engine.

Chevrolet Silverado ZH2 Hydrogen fuel cell truck

Sure, Chevrolet is developing the Silverado ZH2 for the military. Space, racing, and military uses have been the main catalysts for most of the largest developments in vehicle technology. Hopefully, we’ll see a vehicle like this one available to us all soon.

Chevrolet Silverado ZH2 Hydrogen fuel cell truck

Bryon Dorr

Bryon Dorr caught the outdoor adventure addiction through whitewater kayaking, and worldwide adventures to remote places ensued. He crafted his own professional path as a photographer, journalist, and marketing consultant in the automotive and outdoor industries, while full-time overland traveling for nearly 8 years. You’ll usually find him out exploring by 4x4, adventure motorcycle, or sports car while seeking out opportunities to ski, mountain bike, and kayak. Bryon now has a home base in Portland, OR with his wife and young daughter.