USA: Wabtec and General Motors have signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding to collaborate to develop and commercialise GM’s battery and hydrogen technology for Wabtec locomotives.
Wabtec will bring expertise in energy management and systems optimisation, and GM its Ultium battery technology developed through its Ultium Cells joint venture with LG Energy Solutions. GM will also contribute Hydrotec compact fuel cells assembled under its Fuel Cell Systems Manufacturing joint venture with Honda.
‘The rail industry is on the cusp of a sustainable transformation with the introduction of batteries and hydrogen to power locomotive fleets’, said Wabtec CEO & President Rafael Santana on June 15. He said Wabtec’s FLXdrive battery locomotive had ‘proven its potential to slash carbon emissions by up to 30% when operating at 6 MWh’, and working with GM would help ‘accelerate the rail industry’s path to decarbonisation and pathway to zero-emission locomotives’.
GM President Mark Reuss said ‘rail networks are critical to transportation and to GM’s ability to serve our customers across North America, and Wabtec’s bold plan to decarbonise heavy haul and other locomotive applications helps advance our vision of a world with zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion’.