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Wabtec, GM sign deal to develop battery, hydrogen technology for locomotives

By | June 15, 2021

The deal will allow Wabtec to taken advantage of technology already under development

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Wabtec logoPITTSBURGH — Wabtec Corp. and General Motors have announced they have signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on power systems for Wabtec locomotives, developing GM’s Ultium battery technology and Hydrotec hydrogen fuel cell systems.

Wabtec CEO Rafael Santana said in a press release that the company’s FLXdrive batter-electric locomotive, which recently completed testing on BNSF Railway in California, “has proven its potential to slash carbon emissions by up to 30% … 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.”

Mark Reuss, GM president, said “Wabtec’s decision to deploy GM’s Ultium battery and Hydrotec hydrogen fuel cell systems further validates our advanced technology and demonstrates its versatility.”

The deal will allow Wabtec to taken advantage of technology already under development for a variety of highway uses. GM is constructing battery cell plants in Ohio and Tennessee in a joint venture with LG Energy Solutions, and will manufacture its hydrogen fuel cells in a joint venture with Honda at a plant in Brownstown, Mich.

3 thoughts on “Wabtec, GM sign deal to develop battery, hydrogen technology for locomotives

  1. Things go around. Back in the day, if you overcharged the batteries on a diesel-electric submarine, you got hydrogen. Which is good inside a fuel cell, not good when mixed with air inside a steel boat.

  2. Ironic. GM spun off EMD, now Progress Rail, and now they’re collaborating with EMD’s main competitor, as Wabtec bought GE Locomotives.

  3. I’m curious about this ‘batter-electric locomotive’. Is it a wheat flour batter, or from corn meal?

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