Transport

GM batteries and hydrogen fuel cells to be adapted for low-carbon trains

GM batteries and hydrogen fuel...
Wabtec's FLXDrive locomotive is described as the world’s first 100-percent battery-powered locomotive
Wabtec's FLXDrive locomotive is described as the world’s first 100-percent battery-powered locomotive
View 2 Images
GM has entered an agreement with Wabtec to develop batteries and fuel cell technology for lower-emission trains
1/2
GM has entered an agreement with Wabtec to develop batteries and fuel cell technology for lower-emission trains
Wabtec's FLXDrive locomotive is described as the world’s first 100-percent battery-powered locomotive
2/2
Wabtec's FLXDrive locomotive is described as the world’s first 100-percent battery-powered locomotive

As it eyes the future of sustainable transport through the development of advanced batteries and hydrogen fuel cell technologies, General Motors is now expanding these ambitions to include the world of freight. The automaker has entered a new agreement with rail technology outfit Wabtec to develop new eco-friendly powertrains for locomotives, building on the company's recent groundbreaking moves in the area.

Last month, Wabtec showed off the world's first battery-electric locomotive, which was demonstrated as part of a hybrid system that cut diesel use of the entire vehicle by 11 percent. The company is looking to build on its early success with a bigger and better version it says could cut fuel consumption and carbon emissions by up to 30 percent, and which could enter use in the coming years.

It will now have access to GM's expertise in powertrain technology as it pushes ahead with its vision. The pair will work together to develop train-oriented versions of GM's Ultium battery technology, which will underpin the forthcoming all-electric Hummer, and its Hydrotec hydrogen fuel cell power cubes.

GM has entered an agreement with Wabtec to develop batteries and fuel cell technology for lower-emission trains
GM has entered an agreement with Wabtec to develop batteries and fuel cell technology for lower-emission trains

“The rail industry is on the cusp of a sustainable transformation with the introduction of batteries and hydrogen to power locomotive fleets,” says 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.”

Source: GM

4 comments
4 comments
FB36
Using hydrogen as fuel for any kind of land/sea/air vehicle is extremely bad idea because hydrogen gas is explosive!
Imagine a future world w/ hydrogen vehicles, tanker trucks, gas stations everywhere!
Are we seriously think that there will be never any accident/mishandling to trigger massive explosions???

Best solution for making all existing diesel trucks, trains, ships (& even aircraft) carbon-neutral is start producing biodiesel/biofuel from all possible industrial/agricultural/forestry waste/biomass & even trash & sewage!!!
Bill S.
GM can’t even build a decent car let alone get involved in something as explosive as hydrogen technology. Pass
TGinNC
“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." Still 70% below 100% electric operation, so nice, but a long way to go. Keep up the research, and who knows what breakthrough might come next. But do, please, go easy on the hype.
michael_dowling
Fuel cell technology is dead in the water for cars,but for things like aircraft,ships and trains,it will be extremely useful. There is a new way of safely storing H2 that should alleviate the fears of people such as PB36 and Bill S: powerpaste https://newatlas.com/energy/powerpaste-hydrogen-fuel-paste/