Wabtec, GM to Develop Loco Power Systems

Pittsburgh-based Wabetc has signed a memorandum of understanding with General Motors to work to develop a battery for use on Wabtec locomotives.

The two companies plan to work to develop GM’s Ultium battery technology and Hydrotec hydrogen fuel cell systems.

The systems would be used in Wabtec’s  FLXdrive battery-electric locomotive. A prototype of the unit recently tested on BNSF in California.

In a statement, Wabtec said “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.”

Wabtec said the collaboration will enable Wabtec to take 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, Michigan.

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