General Motors Signs Deal with Navistar For Hydrogen Fuel Cells

General Motors Co. in Detroit today announced it, along with OneH2, will supply the automaker’s Hydrotec Fuel Cell Power Cubes to Navistar International Corp. — owner of International trucks — to use in its commercial production model vehicles, under the International RH Series line.
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GM's Hydrotech Fuel Cell Power Cube
GM and OneH2 are supplying GM’s Hydrotec Fuel Cell Power Cubes to Navistar International Corp. The Power Cubes contain more than 300 fuel cells along with thermal and power management systems. // Photo courtesy of General Motors Co.

General Motors Co. in Detroit today announced it, along with OneH2, will supply the automaker’s Hydrotec Fuel Cell Power Cubes to Navistar International Corp. — owner of International trucks — to use in its commercial production model vehicles, under the International RH Series line.

The zero-emission solution will be initially piloted by J.B. Hunt Transport Inc. in Lowell, Ark. (northwest Arkansas), a subsidiary of J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. In essence, GM offers and is introducing more electric vehicles for passenger vehicles, and is studying the use of hydrogen fuel cells for long-haul commercial applications.

Navistar, located west of Chicago in Lisle, Ill., is a leading manufacturer of buses, trucks, defense vehicles, and engines. Its truck brand, International, has been making medium-duty, heavy-duty, and severe-service trucks since 1902.

Today, the brand offers Class 4-8 trucks and is striving for sustainability and efficiency — which is why the Class 8 regional haul RH Series will be adopting the GM technology. OneH2, a hydrogen infrastructure provider located in Longview, N.C. will build 1,000 charging stations.

“Hydrogen fuel cells offer great promise for heavy-duty trucks in applications requiring a higher density of energy, fast refueling, and additional range,” says Persio Lisboa, president and CEO of Navistar.

“We are excited to provide customers with added flexibility through a new hydrogen truck ecosystem that combines our vehicles with the hydrogen fuel cell technology of General Motors and the modular, mobile, and scalable hydrogen production and fueling capabilities of OneH2.”

Already a fuel-efficient option for regional and local deliveries, along with heavy loads, the RH Series is a driver-friendly truck that aims to increase safety by creating more visibility and better maneuverability. The first production model fuel cell electric vehicle will be available in the model year 2024, fitted with two Hydrotec Fuel Cell Power Cubes that will power the truck.

GMs Hydrotec Fuel Cell Power Cube is a zero-emission alternative to diesel that contains more than 300 hydrogen fuel cells and supporting components each. This volume increases efficiency, safety, and ease of integration into existing technologies. As International is doing, the cubes are designed to be used two or three at a time to increase power ratings.

The power cubes provide 80 kilowatts of clean power — enough to power two mid-sized homes — and proprietary control systems increase battery life and keep the precious metal content required to develop parts low.

Alongside energy efficiency, the cells have the ability to refuel rapidly due to how the hydrogen system stores electrons, leading to more time spent on the road and less at the fuel pump.

Beyond truck applications, GM officials state the durability and efficiency of its Hydrotec Fuel Cell Power Cube can be utilized for submarines, earth moving equipment, airport ground equipment, and other industries looking to reduce carbon emissions.

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