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General Motors’ Ultium battery and fuel cell technology will provide power for trains

Author:QINSUN Released in:2024-03 Click:28

According to foreign media CNET, in the coming years, General Motors' cutting-edge Ultium battery technology will provide power for a range of electric vehicles, from high-end trucks and luxury SUVs to crossover cars suitable for home use, flagship luxury sedans, and even motorcycles. This Tuesday, General Motors and Wabtec, a railway company, announced a partnership. These two companies have signed a non binding memorandum of understanding with the aim of developing Ultium technology and commercializing Hydrotec hydrogen fuel cells from automotive manufacturers for use in locomotives.

Wabtec's FLXdrive locomotive is the world's first fully battery powered train, and it has proven that decarbonization of the train can yield huge profits. As early as May, the efficiency benefits of the locomotive were announced, and the machine showed an average reduction of 11% in fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. According to the company, this is equivalent to saving over 6200 gallons of diesel and eliminating approximately 69 tons of carbon dioxide production. These numbers were announced after a three-month testing project with BNSF Railroad in San Joaquin Valley, California, where FLXdrive is used for revenue services over 13300 miles of hilly terrain. The locomotive has an onboard energy storage capacity of 2.4 megawatt hours, but if it has 6 megawatt hours of energy, Wabtec estimates that the train can reduce emissions and fuel consumption by up to 30%.

The weight of the FLXdrive locomotive is approximately 430000 pounds and contains 18000 lithium-ion batteries. This provides a range of approximately 350 miles and a top speed of approximately 75 miles per hour. This train engine is charged in a railway yard, just like a Toyota Prius, using regenerative braking to recover energy during operation. With General Motors' cutting-edge technology and expertise, Wabtec's goal is to do better than that. Next, the company plans to build a locomotive with onboard storage capacity exceeding 6 megawatt hours to further promote the environmental achievements of FLXdrive.