General Motors and Wabtec Partner to Develop Electric Locomotive Solution

General Motors Co. in Detroit and Wabtec Corp., a large equipment provider in Piuttsburgh, today announced a partnership to develop and produce GM’s Ultium battery technology and HYDROTEC hydrogen fuel cell systems for Wabtec locomotives.
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Wabtec battery electric train
GM has partnered with Wabtec to provide its Ultium battery technology and HYDROTEC hydrogen fuel cell systems to advance electric locomotion. // Courtesy of Wabtec

General Motors Co. in Detroit and Wabtec Corp., a large equipment provider in Piuttsburgh, today announced a partnership to develop and produce GM’s Ultium battery technology and HYDROTEC hydrogen fuel cell systems for Wabtec locomotives.

The companies signed a nonbinding memorandum of understanding to advance a zero-emissions future in transportation. Wabtec will apply its expertise in energy management and systems optimization to develop a solution for heavy haul locomotives that takes full advantage of GM’s platform.

“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. “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.”

The Ultium battery technology is expected to provide the flexibility, efficiency, power, and reliability needed for locomotives. Battery cells are currently being constructed in Ohio and Tennessee in partnership with LG Energy Solutions.

“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,” says Mark Reuss, GM president.

The HYDROTEC hydrogen fuel cell power cubes are compact, easy to package, and have a wide range of applications. They are being manufactured by Fuel Cell Systems Manufacturing LLC in Brownstown, Michigan as part of GMs partnership with Honda.

Wabtec is a leading 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.

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