INDUSTRY INSIDER | April 23, 2024

General Motors to Develop Hydrogen Truck Prototypes as Part of Pilot Project

Original Source: Hydrogen Insight

US auto giant General Motors (GM) has announced a pilot programme to develop medium-duty fuel-cell electric trucks as well as an H2 “microgrid” with one of the largest utilities in the US, Southern Company.

The pilot programme, reported to cost $65m in total, will see GM-developed trucks, with a similar frame to the 2024 Chevrolet Silverado 5500, used at Southern Company’s worksites.

GM estimates that the prototype trucks will have a range of more than 300 miles (482.8km) and a 19,500lb (8.85-tonne) gross vehicle weight rating, with the fuel cells capable of producing 300kW of peak power.

A refuelling system and proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolyser will be supplied by Norway’s Nel, which is already engaged in a partnership with GM to drive down the cost of manufacturing its PEM equipment.

Meanwhile, GM, Southern Company’s subsidiary Georgia Power, and Nel will also develop an electrolyser and stationary fuel-cell “microgrid” system at an existing power plant in Georgia as part of the pilot.

GM announced in 2022 that it would expand its Hydrotec fuel cell offering beyond transport to include stationary and mobile power generators.

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However, while the three firms aim to create H2 during off-peak hours and use it to generate power for site operations when grid electricity is expensive, further details on the size of the system or the location of the plant have not been disclosed.

Around $26m of the pilot project’s costs are covered by the US Department of Energy’s Supertruck 3 programme, which allocated nearly $200m in total to five auto manufacturers including GM in 2021.

The automaker has also received $7m across two funding rounds by the Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office for the development of fuel cells and subcomponents for use in medium- and heavy-duty trucks, although it is unclear if the pilot will benefit from these subsidies.