General Motors (NYSE: GM) is set to partner with Wabtec Corp. and supply it with hydrogen fuel cell systems as a means to expand its grasp beyond the automotive division. Both companies announced the signing of a nonbinding memorandum of understanding on Tuesday, which outlines that GM will engineer and supply Ultium battery and Hydrotec hydrogen fuel cell systems to be used on Wabtec freight locomotives.
“Wabtec’s decision to deploy GM’s Ultium battery and Hydrotec hydrogen fuel cell systems further validates our advanced technology and demonstrates its versatility,” GM President Mark Reuss said in a statement.
Wabtec, a leading global provider of equipment, systems, digital solutions, and value-added services, has begun to develop locomotives powered by electric batteries and hydrogen fuel cells upon rail industry demand to phase out carbon emissions. The company currently has an electric test model and hopes to manufacture a second generation variant to be delivered in 2023.
“The rail industry is on the cusp of a sustainable transformation with the introduction of batteries and hydrogen to power locomotive fleets,” Wabtec Chief Executive Rafael Santana said in a statement.
The partnership is set to broaden GM’s client base for the emerging technologies. Furthermore, Ultimium is an important factor in GM’s plan to develop efficient and affordable electric vehicles. Finalizing the deal with Wabtec will help to cover development costs with a large amount of batteries.
Both companies have refrained from disclosing any financial terms of the agreement or the possible time-line for the development.