Distributed Energy Resources, Energy Efficiency, Energy Storage - January 21, 2022
GM Takes Electrification Beyond Vehicles with Fuel Cell Tech
GM announced new commercial applications of its HYDROTEC fuel cell technology, currently in development to power heavy-duty trucks, aerospace and locomotives, to go beyond vehicles for power generation..
GM is planning multiple HYDROTEC-based power generators, all powered by GM’s Generation 2 HYDROTEC fuel cell power cubes, including:
- A Mobile Power Generator (MPG) to provide fast-charge capability for EVs without installing permanent charge points
- The EMPOWER rapid charger to help retail fuel stations add affordable DC fast charging without expanding the grid
- A palletized MPG to quietly and efficiently power military camps and installations
These fuel cell generators could replace gas- and diesel-burning generators with fewer emissions, and could also back-up or replace grid-sourced electricity for residential and small businesses in cases of power disruption..
“Our vision of an all-electric future is broader than just passenger vehicles or even transportation," said Charlie Freese, GM executive director of the global HYDROTEC business in a statement. “Our energy platform expertise with Ultium vehicle architectures and propulsion components and HYDROTEC fuel cells can expand access to energy across many different industries and users, while helping to reduce emissions often associated with power generation.”
GM is supplying the HYDROTEC fuel cell power cubes to Renewable Innovations of Lindon, Utah to build the Mobile Power Generator. This will create a generator that can provide fast-charging capability for EVs without having to expand the grid or install permanent charging assets. A demonstration of the technology as a mobile charging station for EVs, funded in part by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Ground Vehicle Systems Center, will be demonstrated in mid-2022.
GM and Renewable Innovations have collaborated on the EMPOWER rapid charger to help retail fuel stations add more affordable DC fast-charging capability without significant investments. The rapid charger, which is powered by eight GM HYDROTEC power cubes, consumes hydrogen from internal tanks and can DC fast charge as many as four vehicles simultaneously starting at 150 KWwith an estimated target full charge time of 20 minutes. Renewable Innovations plans to deploy 500 EMPOWER rapid chargers across the U.S. by the end of 2025.