Hydrogen fuel cell technology is an interesting alternative to gas and electric cars, as it combines the zero-emission driving of an electric car with the refuel-time of a gasoline car. However, despite the benefits, few brands have invested much time or money into making hydrogen cars, with the vast majority of the car world investing in electrification instead. However, it seems that Chevrolet could be working on a hydrogen-powered pickup truck, judging by this new trademark filing found by CarBuzz.
Chevy recently filed two trademarks with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), for the names 'ZRX' and 'ZH2.' While the former is rumored to be for some sort of Ford Raptor-fighting Silverado model, it's the latter that intrigues us a bit more.
This isn't the first time Chevy has toyed with the 'ZH2' name. Back in 2016, Chevy released the Colorado ZH2, a hydrogen powered off-road pickup demonstration that was to be tested by the U.S. Army. The whole point of the Colorado ZH2 was to determine the effectiveness of hydrogen fuel cell technology in dangerous, off-road mission situations.
Admittedly, this trademark filing is hardly concrete evidence of a hydrogen pickup truck. Car companies often trademark names just to futureproof them, in case they're ever needed. However, trademarking a name that was used on a previous concept car does make this news a bit more interesting.
If Chevy is working on a hydrogen-powered pickup, it's unclear if it will be a Colorado or a Silverado. Chevy's U.S. Army concept was based on the former but its only electric pickup truck is based on the latter. While hydrogen cars aren't the same as electric cars, they do still use electric motors for propulsion, just with their electricity being generated by hydrogen fuel cells instead of batteries.
Why make a hydrogen pickup when Chevy already has an electric one? Hydrogen-powered pickups do have some advantages over electric ones, such as long-distance driving or heavy towing. Electric trucks have tons of torque, giving them some pretty impressive pulling power, however their ranges drop drastically when towing heavy loads. While that would also be true of a hydrogen truck, its ability to refuel in just a few minutes would give it a distinct advantage over an electric truck.
It will be interesting to see if a hydrogen Chevy pickup materializes over the next year or so, especially with GM's push for electrification. However, until then, these are just a couple of trademark filings.