GM partnering with Wabtec on electric powered freight locomotives

Wabtec Corp. states its FLXdrive is the world’s 1st 100% battery-powered, large-haul freight locomotive.


General Motors and Wabtec Corp. are partnering to establish and commercialize electrical locomotives employing the automaker’s battery and fuel cell technologies.

The companies announced on Tuesday the signing of a nonbinding memorandum of knowledge for GM to engineer and supply its Ultium battery and Hydrotec hydrogen gas cell programs for Wabtec freight locomotives.

“Wabtec’s choice to deploy GM’s Ultium battery and Hydrotec hydrogen fuel mobile methods even more validates our highly developed technological know-how and demonstrates its versatility,” GM President Mark Reuss reported in a statement.

Implementation of the techniques for the rail sector would develop GM’s client base for the emerging technologies, though offering Pittsburgh-dependent Wabtec a supplier for battery and gas cells for electric powered locomotives.

Wabtec has produced and analyzed a battery-electrical locomotive called FLXdrive, which is run by about 18,000 battery cells. The corporation says the prototype was component of a $22.6 million grant from the California Air Useful resource Board awarded to Wabtec, BNSF Railway and the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Handle District. 

The businesses declined to launch economic conditions of the settlement or a potential time frame for commercialization of a battery or fuel cell-driven locomotive.

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