Wabtec Corporation and General Motors announced they will collaborate to develop and commercialize GM’s Ultium battery technology and HYDROTEC hydrogen fuel cell systems for Wabtec locomotives.
“The rail industry is on the cusp of a sustainable transformation with the introduction of batteries and hydrogen to power locomotive fleets,” said Rafael Santana, CEO and President of Wabtec. “Our FLXdrive locomotive, the world’s first 100-percent battery powered locomotive, has proven its potential to slash carbon emissions by up to 30 percent when operating at 6 MWh. But we can’t stop there. By working with GM on Ultium battery and HYDROTEC hydrogen fuel cell technologies, we can accelerate the rail industry’s path to decarbonization and pathway to zero-emission locomotives by leveraging these two important propulsion technologies.”
Wabtec and GM signed a nonbinding memorandum of understanding to advance the two companies’ shared vision of a zero emissions future in transportation. Wabtec will bring its expertise in energy management and systems optimization, to develop a solution for heavy haul locomotives that takes full advantage of GM’s advanced technologies.
“Rail networks are critical to transportation and to GM’s ability to serve our customers across North America, and Wabtec’s bold plan to de-carbonize heavy haul and other locomotive applications helps advance our vision of a world with zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion,” said Mark Reuss, GM president. “Wabtec’s decision to deploy GM’s Ultium battery and HYDROTEC hydrogen fuel cell systems further validates our advanced technology and demonstrates its versatility.”
GM’s Ultium battery technology is anticipated to provide the flexibility, efficiency, power and reliability needed for rail. Ultium Cells LLC, GM’s joint venture with LG Energy Solution, is currently constructing battery cell plants in Ohio and Tennessee.
GM’s HYDROTEC hydrogen fuel cell power cubes are compact and easy to package and can be used in a wide range of applications, including locomotives. HYDROTEC fuel cell systems will be assembled by Fuel Cell Systems Manufacturing LLC in Brownstown, Michigan, the manufacturing joint venture between General Motors and Honda.
Wabtec Corporation is focused on creating transportation solutions that move and improve the world. The company is a leading global provider of equipment, systems, digital solutions and value-added services for the freight and transit rail industries, as well as the mining, marine and industrial markets. Wabtec has been a leader in the rail industry for over 150 years and has a vision to achieve a zero-emission rail system in the U.S. and worldwide. The company has approximately 27,000 employees located at facilities in 50 countries throughout the world.
General Motors is a global company focused on advancing an all-electric future that is inclusive and accessible to all. At the heart of this strategy is the Ultium battery platform, which powers everything from mass-market to high-performance vehicles. General Motors, its subsidiaries and its joint venture entities sell vehicles under the Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Cadillac, Baojun and Wuling brands.