Arab Times

GM, Wabtec eye hydrogen locos


DETROIT, June 15, (AP): General Motors has signed a deal to develop railroad locomotive­s powered by a hydrogen fuel cell and battery system.

Under a nonbinding agreement with locomotive maker Wabtec Corp., GM batteries and hydrogen technology will be used in locomotive­s to help railroads cut carbon emissions.

Wabtec already has built a batterypow­ered locomotive prototype. The Pittsburgh company said it was used with two diesel locomotive­s in a California test earlier this year that cut emissions by 11%. Fuel cell locomotive­s will follow full developmen­t of the electric version.

The companies say in a joint statement Tuesday that Wabtec’s experience in energy management will help the companies develop zero-emissions long-haul locomotive­s.

Financial details of the venture were not released.

GM has been developing hydrogen fuel cell power systems for years. The systems will be assembled at a factory in Brownstown Township, Michigan, near Detroit that is a joint venture with Honda. GM and Honda have been working to jointly develop fuel cell vehicles.

In January, GM announced another partnershi­p to make hydrogen fuel cell power systems for heavy truck company Navistar. The companies will run a test with trucking company J.B. Hunt to haul freight along yet-unidentifi­ed corridors in the U.S. in about three years.

Navistar says its hydrogen trucks will be able to go more than 500 miles (800 kilometers) on a single charge and can be refueled in less than 15 minutes.

GM says Hydrogen fuel cells have an advantage over battery-electric powered trucks, with a longer range pulling heavy loads and because they can be refueled faster.

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