Wabtec has signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding with General Motors (GM) for making progress towards achieving a zero-emissions future in rail transportation.

As agreed, the companies will jointly work to develop and commercialise GM’s Ultium battery technology and Hydrotec hydrogen fuel cell systems for Wabtec locomotives.

Under the collaboration, Wabtec aims to use GM’s advanced technologies for the development of a solution for heavy-haul locomotives.

Wabtec CEO and president Rafael Santana said: “By working with GM on Ultium battery and Hydrotec hydrogen fuel cell technologies, we can accelerate the rail industry’s path to decarbonisation and pathway to zero-emission locomotives by leveraging these two important propulsion technologies.”

Compactly designed and easy to pack, GM’s hydrogen fuel cell power cubes can be deployed in various applications such as locomotives.

The Fuel Cell Systems Manufacturing joint venture (JV) between GM and Honda will be responsible for assembling the Hydrotec fuel cell systems.

GM’s Ultium battery technology is expected to offer power, dependability, flexibility and efficiency to the rail industry.

The company’s JV with LG Energy Solution, Ultium Cells, is involved in the construction of the battery cell plants in Ohio and Tennessee as of now.

GM president Mark Reuss said: “Rail networks are critical to transportation and to GM’s ability to serve our customers across North America, and Wabtec’s bold plan to de-carbonise heavy haul and other locomotive applications helps advance our vision of a world with zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion.”

Wabtec recently commenced operations at the additive manufacturing production hub at Pittsburgh International Airport’s Innovation Campus in the US.