GM / Steve Fecht
Gm Fuel Cell Navistar 800

GM Supplying Hydrogen FCEV Tech to Navistar

Jan. 27, 2021
Navistar aims to introduce a heavy-duty truck by 2024, fueled by “power cubes” using GM’s Hydrotec technology, for long range and fast fueling times.

General Motors will supply its hydrogen fuel-cell technology to Navistar as the power source for a new, production-scale fuel-cell electric vehicle (FCEV) that the truck builder is planning. The terms of their partnership were not revealed, but it also includes hydrogen-fuel processor OneH2, which will be responsible for producing, storing, and delivering hydrogen for the trucks.

Navistar is developing its International RHTM Series FCEV to have a range above 500 miles, with hydrogen fueling time of less than 15 minutes.

Several sources reported that J.B. Hunt Transport will be the pilot customer for Navistar’s FCEV and the hydrogen fueling system. The first hydrogen-powered semi-trucks will be available in 2024, according to Navistar CEO Persio Lisboa.

GM will provide its Hydrotec technology in the form of “fuel-cell power cubes,” each cube containing more than 300 hydrogen fuel cells and thermal- and power-management systems. GM explains these cubes are “compact and easy to package and can be used in a wide range of applications, including marine, earth-moving and mining equipment, locomotives and power generators.”

Hydrotec is the same technology that GM has agreed to supply to Nikola, a start-up business developing a “zero-emission” Class 7/8 semi-truck.

Hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicles are comparable to battery electric vehicles, though because they source hydrogen-generated electricity they are seen as a likely approach to replacing diesel fuel for long-haul trucking. BEVs continue to be proposed for light-duty trucks and delivery vehicles.

The automaker noted that two-to-three Hydrotec fuel-cell power cubes can be installed in an FCEV, with each cube offering 80 kW of “quiet and efficient net power.”

"Hydrogen fuel cells offer great promise for heavy-duty trucks in applications requiring a higher density of energy, fast refueling and additional range," Navistar’s CEO said.

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