Automotive

GM to launch hydrogen fuel cell generators for fast EV charging, mobile power

DETROIT– General Motors plans to launch power generators for multiple uses, including EV charging, powered by its Hydrotec hydrogen fuel cell technology, the automaker said Wednesday.

The power generators are designed to enable fast-charging capability for electric vehicles without permanent charge points, the addition of affordable DC fast-charging at gas stations without expanding the grid and mobile energy at military bases.

GM’s partner for the generators, Renewable Innovations, plans to install 500 Empower rapid chargers at gas stations and in popular travel corridors across the country by the end of 2025.

The generators could replace gas and diesel-burning generators at worksites, buildings, movie sets, data centers and outdoor concerts and festivals, GM said.

The generators could also act as a backup energy source during a blackout in residential communities.

The power generators are the next phase in GM’s strategy to extend its Hydrotec technology to adjacent industries. The automaker is also deploying Hydrotec technology in the aerospace, locomotive and heavy-duty truck industries.

“Our vision of an all-electric future is broader than just passenger vehicles or even transportation,” Charlie Freese, GM executive director of the global Hydrotec business, said 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.”

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The automaker will build the Hydrotec fuel cell systems at its Fuel Cell Systems Manufacturing joint venture with Honda in Brownstown, Mich.

GM’s partner for the generators, Renewable Innovations of Lindon, Utah, will produce the generators at its facilities in the Salt Lake City area.

GM and Renewable Innovations plan to deploy the generators in three applications: retail EV charging stations, a mobile power generator and a palletized mobile generator.

Retail EV charging stations: GM and Renewable Innovations have collaborated to develop a rapid charger to help gas stations add DC fast-charging capability. The Empower rapid charger will allow the stations to offer EV fast charging without investing in EV infrastructure. The rapid chargers can be installed at gas stations and along corridors popular among travelers during specific seasons, such as national parks or vacation destinations, GM said.

The Empower rapid charger can charge as many as four vehicles at once through DC fast chargers in about 20 minutes. Renewable Innovations plans to install 500 Empower rapid chargers across the country by the end of 2025.

Mobile Power Generator: GM’s fuel cell hardware and software, combined with Renewable Innovations’ power integration and management systems, will create a generator that can provide fast EV charging without expanding the grid or installing permanent charging stations when there is only a temporary need for power, such as worksites, movie sets and outdoor concerts and festivals

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Palletized Mobile Power Generator System: In partnership with GM Defense, GM is designing a palletized version of the mobile power generator for customers such as the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Ground Vehicle Systems Center, which is evaluating the technology, GM said.

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