General Motors is going further than just electrification of their vehicle fleet. It’s no secret, the company aspires to be fully electric by 2035. The company has revealed its plan to further this dream by implementing a hydrogen based power unit. A unit that utilizes GM’s generation 2 Hydrotec fuel cell power cubes with multiple applications including retail and military to name a few.
The system is called Hydrotec and it bears the mission of being able to charge EV’s as well as power worksites, assist the military, and provide emergency power. The General Motors Hydrotec system utilizes fuel cell technology to accomplish its powering needs and could eventually replace diesel and gasoline generators altogether, if things go GM’s way.
To the credit of The General, the Detroit automaker at one point held more hydrogen fuel cell patents than any other car company, and in 2017 announced a partnership with Honda to form Fuel Cell System Manufacturing LLC – melding the innovations of over 2,200 hydrogen fuel cell patents. Products from the venture were initially expected in 2020, but then, something happened.
The company currently has three main projects it is working on in association with the fuel cell generator. The first, a Mobile Power Generator (MPG) meant to rapidly charge EV vehicles such as the all-electric Chevy Silverado. With the help of Renewable Innovations in Lindon, Utah, GM will build these so as not to expand the current power grid and provide rapid charging where a permanent power source is not needed.
Each of the GM Hydrotec generators can supply between 60-600 Kilowatts of energy in addition to being low emissions and leave cooler heat signatures than current diesel generators.
The second project utilizing the GM Hydrotec system is retail-oriented. The Empower rapid chargers. These charging stations are meant to provide retail fuel stations an affordable way to also implement DC fast charging abilities while not having to re-establish an entire infrastructure. These rapid chargers are to be powered by eight fuel cell cubes and should allow 20-minute full charge times for up to four vehicles at a time. Clever.
The third and final project is in collaboration with GM Defense for military application.The palletized version of the Mobile Power Generator. These generators are equivalent to a 60 Kilowatt diesel generator in size, however it produces 70-percent more juice. GM Defense is currently exploring how these power generators can power heavy duty military equipment and basecamps.