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GM is working on a hydrogen generator for charging portable electric vehicles

  • GM is working with a company called Renewable Innovations to build tools that will bring its Hydrotec hydrogen fuel cell technology to generators.
  • The automaker’s Empower mobile generator (MPG) and fast charger offer ways to charge up to 100 or more electric vehicles without recharging or drawing from the power grid.
  • With America’s hydrogen infrastructure still in its infancy, these systems aren’t very cost-effective, at least for now, but they are intriguing.

    General Motors on Wednesday announced plans to bring its Hydrotec hydrogen fuel cell technology to generators. The company plans to test the waters with a mobile hydrogen generator, or MPG, and a fast charger called Empower.

    While GM foresees multiple use cases for its Hydrotec-based generators, it primarily highlights the technology’s potential to help today’s gas stations transition to electric vehicle charging stations. That said, GM also sees the general-purpose MPG playing a military role, with its palletized prototype designed to supply power to temporary camps.

    General Engines

    Credit the hydrogen generator’s quieter operation and lower heat signature compared to its gasoline or diesel counterparts. In theory, these features should reduce the risk of enemy combatants encountering makeshift military sites.

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    Yet it is MPG’s potential role as a mobile fast charger for electric vehicles that interests us most. As Charles Freese, GM’s executive director for its global fuel cell business, described it, the MPG offers the ability to add an EV fast charger without needing to connect to the grid or dig to install charging stations. fixed. The Empower Fast Charger, on the other hand, takes the basic concept of the MPG and kicks it up a few notches, not least because of its ability to quickly charge four EVs at the same time. With its internal hydrogen tanks at full capacity, the fast charger can charge north of 100 cars before needing a refill, according to GM.

    Hydrogen Highway

    GM intends to offer its hydrogen generators in a variety of ratings, ranging from as low as 60 kilowatts to 600 kW, to meet diverse business needs. Even so, the potential success of these emission-free tools is stifled by the limitations of the hydrogen infrastructure in the United States. As such, refueling either is likely to be expensive in many parts of the country.

    gm hydrotec's mobile electricity generator and renewable innovation can quickly charge electric vehicles without having to extend the grid or install permanent charging stations in places where there is only a temporary need for electricity. 'electricity

    General Engines

    In fact, Freese acknowledged this on a media call, saying the current practice of hydrogen trucking is often unprofitable due to the vast distances traveled. However, Freese thinks hydrogen production will eventually occur closer to points of use, which should allow for shorter trucking routes and lower the price.

    Nonetheless, GM and manufacturing partner Renewable Innovations are continuing to develop these hydrogen generators, with both companies planning to launch public demonstrations of the MPG later this year. Renewable Innovations is also working to place 500 Empower fast chargers in the United States by 2026.

    Despite this progress, GM remains coy about the potential price of MPG or Empower generators. Similarly, the company is not quite ready to discuss the possibility of producing a smaller hydrogen generator for personal use. Either way, it seems only a matter of time before petrol and diesel generators are replaced by zero-emission alternatives.

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