The US Army began evaluating the Chevrolet Colorado ZH2 fuel cell electric truck in 2017. It is based on GM’s Colorado ZR2 off-road pickup.
GM has been developing fuel cells for over 50 years, with little or no commercial success. However, we aim to change that with the Hydrotec fuel cell system in the next few years. This could be a dark horse business that grows GM’s business outside of the automotive industry.
GM sees great opportunities for fuel cells in military, commercial vehicles, and other modes of transportation such as rail and sea. GM is exploring these areas as a complementary solution to the emerging battery-powered electric vehicle business known as Ultium.
“Batteries have a role to play, but hydrogen fuel cells are also needed to fully electrify and process the various applications we’re talking about,” said Charlie Freeze, head of GM’s global fuel cell business. That’s it. ” “They complement each other very well.”
Hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles and equipment behave much like battery electric vehicles, but are powered by electricity generated from hydrogen and oxygen rather than pure batteries, with only water vapor as a by-product. Nozzles fill at about the same speed as conventional gas and diesel vehicles.
According to Freeze, as a general rule of thumb, batteries are best used in place of gasoline-powered vehicles and equipment, but fuel cells are suitable for vehicles such as long-distance and diesel-fueled semi-trucks. I am.
“All markets will be a little different, but what is clear is that the world is moving towards electrification,” he said. “Fuel cell technology has dramatically lowered the cost curve, and it continues.”
GM said last week that it plans to launch a third-generation Hydrotec fuel cell with even higher power densities and lower cost by mid-2010.
Fuel cell vehicles face the same challenges as BEVs, including consumer acceptance, fuel supply infrastructure, and costs. That’s one of the reasons GM is looking beyond cars to help drive demand.
GM announced a contract with Liebherr-Aerospace on Thursday to develop a hydrogen fuel cell power generation demonstrator system for aircraft. The announcement came two days after the automaker announced that it had signed a memorandum of understanding. Wabtec Co., Ltd. Design and supply batteries and hydrogen fuel cell systems For freight locomotives.
According to Wabtec Corp., the FLXdrive is the world’s first 100% battery-powered heavy-duty locomotive.
GM also has contracts or partnerships with Hydrotec and Navistar, as well as confused EV startups. Nicola..The program will be added to some previous ones in between GM and US Army Hydrogen fuel cells such as pickup trucks and underwater unmanned vessels are involved.
“We use a kind of land, sea and air approach,” Freeze said. “It’s energy storage density for long missions, quick refueling and quiet stealth, low heat initiatives. These are very important in those applications, and they are carried over to some others. [industries].. “
According to Freeze, GM hopes to commercialize fuel cells for “soon” real-world solutions and refuses to elaborate on these plans. GM has a joint venture with Honda Motor Co., Ltd.Offers a fuel cell vehicle called Clarity for developing and producing fuel cells at its Michigan plant.
The shortest-term product announced by GM is the Illinois-based truck maker Navistar.Companies announced earlier this year Collaboration on a fuel cell-powered semi-truck.
General Motors will supply the Hydrotec Fuel Cell Power Cube to Navistar for use in the International RHTM series of production model fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs).
According to both companies, JB Hunt Transport is expected to be the first customer to pilot a semi-truck and hydrogen fuel supply system at the end of 2022. The first truck will be on sale in 2024.
Many believe that hydrogen helps decarbonize industries that lack batteries due to their low energy density and heavy weight. However, this technology is still expected to lag behind BEVs, which are cheaper and easier for consumers and businesses to understand.
“The future of hydrogen transport looks more uncertain given the tug of war with batteries,” BTIG analyst Gregory Lewis said in a recent investor note. “We expect hydrogen to be used in niche applications.”
However, the technology market is expanding as legislation on decarbonization grows globally, officials say. Fortune Business Insights predicts that the global fuel cell market will reach $ 29 billion by 2028.
As GM aims, it may be important to reduce the cost of many commercial customers who set up routes and on-site fuel supplies, not consumers.
“Industrial applications that can produce and consume green hydrogen in the field (avoid transportation costs), such as steel, refining, and chemicals, appear to be ready for early adoption of green hydrogen,” Lewis said. It was. “In addition, industrial hydrogen is already gaining momentum with zero-emission policies in some countries.”
– CNBC Michael Bloom Contributed to this report.
GM expands fuel cell business beyond EV in “land, sea, air”
Source link GM expands fuel cell business beyond EV in “land, sea, air”