25th ID tests fuel cell vehicle in jungle training

| February 22, 2018 | 0 Comments

Story and photos by
Jerome Aliotta
Army News Service

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Soldiers from the 25th Infantry Division put the Army’s ZH2 fuel-cell electric vehicle through the rigors of operating in jungle terrain during a training exercise, here, in late January.

Soldiers evaluated the Chevrolet Colorado ZH2’s operational effectiveness during multiple reconnaissance missions as a notional friendly “blue” force (BLUFOR) and “opposition” force (OPFOR) vehicle asset. They provided feedback on its fuel-cell technology and the capabilities it offers.

The U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) leveraged General Motors’ fuel-cell and off-road vehicle technology investments and commercial off-the-shelf products to develop the ZH2 demonstrator.

TARDEC has been collecting data and Soldier feedback on the ZH2’s capabilities for more than a year as part of the Army’s effort to bring advanced vehicle systems, technology and critical capabilities to the warfighter quickly.

Previous ZH2 evaluations involved Soldiers at the squad and platoon levels, while this latest exercise involved an entire battalion-sized element.

“The ZH2 is more than just a hybridized vehicle. It’s really a leap ahead as we look at solutions we’re trying to get on the battlefield, particularly applicable to reconnaissance and security organizations,” said Lt. Col. Tim Peterman, commander, 2nd Squadron, 14th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th ID.

The ZH2, fitted with a hydrogen fuel cell and electric drive, has a stealthy drive system, which produces a very low smoke, noise, odor and thermal signature. This allows Soldiers to conduct silent watch and silent mobility missions on the battlefield.

“I think the technology is very useful, and implementation of it could make a positive impact to the cavalry squadron, enabling us to be on the move silently, find the enemy and kill the enemy undetectable at close range,” said Capt. Quinn Heydt, 2nd Sqdn, assistant operations officer.

To start the training exercise, the ZH2, which generates 25 kilowatts (kW) of continuous power or 50 kW of peak power, when not in motion, was used to export power to the entire squadron Tactical Operations Center (TOC).

(Editor’s note: Aliotta works at TARDEC.)

Tags: , , , ,

Category: News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *