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Wabtec Corporation and General Motors will collaborate to develop and market Wabtec locomotives equipped with GM’s Ultium battery technology and HYDROTEC hydrogen fuel cell systems.

Wabtec and GM have signed a non-binding memorandum of agreement to pursue their shared goal of a zero-emissions mobility future. Wabtec will leverage its energy management and system optimization experience to create a solution for heavy haul locomotives that fully leverages General Motors’ latest technology.

“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.”

“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 expected to give the rail industry with the flexibility, efficiency, power, and dependability it requires. Ultium Cells LLC, a joint venture between General Motors and LG Energy Solution, is currently developing battery cell manufacturing facilities in Ohio and Tennessee.

The HYDROTEC hydrogen fuel cell power cubes from General Motors are tiny and easy to package, and can be utilized in a broad variety of applications, including locomotives. HYDROTEC fuel cell systems will be assembled in Brownstown, Michigan, by Fuel Cell Systems Manufacturing, LLC, a joint venture between General Motors and Honda.

Nedim Husomanovic

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