With the development of electric cars going on at a slow and steady pace, more and more car makers are these days revisiting the fuel cell technology as a more realistic solution for when the oil runs out. In their quest to study fuel cells, General Motors has found itself a mighty partner, the United States Army.
GM has teamed up with the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development & Engineering Center (TARDEC) to jointly test new hydrogen fuel cell-related materials and designs to evaluate their performance and durability. Both parties are after making full scale fuel cell propulsion systems to power their future vehicles.
General Motors is of course no stranger to fuel cell technology. For instance, they have accumulated nearly 3 million miles of real-world driving in a fleet of 119 hydrogen-powered vehicles, more than any other automaker. What’s more, they also have an agreement in place with Honda to co-develop a next-generation fuel cell system and hydrogen storage technologies.
The new partnership with the Army will expand GM’s facilities and knowledge base, and provides the Army with practical solutions. TARDEC is evaluating GM fuel cell vehicles, as they see military use in them, ranging from ground vehicles to mobile generators. TARDEC and GM’s respective fuel cell laboratories are about 20 miles apart, which greatly promotes daily collaboration, and GM and TARDEC engineers are developing extensive plans to share physical material and data between the locations.
The idea of having a fuel cell-powered tank is kind of bitter sweet. It will still kill people with its gun, but at least it will be kind to the environment, as the only emission from fuel cell vehicles is water vapor.