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Ford Already Launched A Similar Program Back In 2022

General Motors Medium Duty Fuel Cell Trucks Chevrolet Silverado MD Hydrogen Medium Duty Truck 5500HD

General Motors continues to research and develop incredible hydrogen fuel cell technology, and it’s taking things into the vocational space with a pilot program of hydrogen fuel-cell powered Chevrolet Silverado MD trucks. This is thanks in part to funding awarded from the Department of Energy’s SuperTruck 3 program and the Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office.

Built on a “similar” frame to the 2024 Chevrolet Silverado 5500 MD, these commercial medium duty trucks will be powered by GM’s proprietary Hydrotec hydrogen fuel cell systems. The prototype trucks are expected to have a GM-estimated range greater than 300 miles and a 19,500-pound gross vehicle weight rating, which is the maximum GVWR for Class 5. The medium-duty fuel-cell trucks operate in a native 800-volt architecture and can produce more than 300 kW of peak power.

GMC Hummer EV Hydrotec Charging Station

Hydrogen fuel cells are a vital component of GM’s electrification strategy, which extends beyond battery-powered passenger vehicles. Fuel cells combine hydrogen and oxygen to generate electricity through an electrochemical reaction. The fuel cell converts energy stored in hydrogen into electricity to power a car.

Since fuel cells are lightweight and enable large payloads, excellent range, quiet operation, and rapid refueling, they can meet the needs of the heaviest-duty applications. With regulations rapidly changing in many countries, fuel cell-powered vehicles have the added advantage of zero tailpipe emissions compared to diesel vehicles. Yet there are problems, which include a lack of commercial infrastructure, a higher fuel cost (hydrogen isn’t cheap yet), and the risk of high-pressure combustion.

Southern Company, one of the United States’ largest utility companies, will receive Hydrotec fuel cell-powered medium-duty trucks to be used as shop vehicles at its worksites. Southern Company GM and Nel ASA will also demonstrate an integrated hydrogen microgrid for fueling infrastructure, including a stationary fuel cell-based mobile power generator.

Similarly, Ford Motor Company is also testing hydrogen fuel-cell powered F-Series medium duty trucks with California’s SoCalGas and Ferguson Enterprises. Both automakers appear serious when it comes to hydrogen fuel cells, and it could only be a matter of time before one of them makes this technology commercially available.

General Motors Hydrotec Fuel Cell
General Motors Hydrotec fuel cells. Image via GM.

Written by Zac Quinn

Zac's love for cars started at a young age, after seeing the popular Eleanor from Gone In 60 Seconds. From there, fascination and enthusiasm blossomed and to this day the Ford Mustang remains a favorite. His first job started out detailing cars, but also provided the opportunity to work on restoration including an 1968 Ford Mustang, Pontiac Firebird, and a C3 Corvette, though he left that job before further work and experience could be had. From there, he was a detailer at a car dealership before quitting that job to try and finish college.

Much of his free time while studying was spent watching YouTube videos regarding new cars, or off-roading. 4WD247 is a personal favorite channel which rekindled a dying flame in car enthusiasm, now tailored towards trucks and SUVs and the fun that can be had building up an overlanding rig, and going on adventures, though, that chapter remains unwritten for the time being.

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