GM partnering with Wabtec on electric freight locomotives

Wabtec Corp. says its FLXdrive is the world’s first 100% battery-driven, weighty-haul freight locomotive.


Standard Motors and Wabtec Corp. are partnering to create and commercialize electrical locomotives working with the automaker’s battery and gas cell systems.

The corporations announced on Tuesday the signing of a nonbinding memorandum of understanding for GM to engineer and source its Ultium battery and Hydrotec hydrogen gasoline cell units for Wabtec freight locomotives.

“Wabtec’s final decision to deploy GM’s Ultium battery and Hydrotec hydrogen gasoline mobile techniques even further validates our highly developed technologies and demonstrates its flexibility,” GM President Mark Reuss claimed in a statement.

Implementation of the systems for the rail sector would broaden GM’s shopper base for the emerging systems, while providing Pittsburgh-centered Wabtec a provider for battery and gas cells for electric locomotives.

Wabtec has produced and tested a battery-electric powered locomotive termed FLXdrive, which is driven by about 18,000 battery cells. The enterprise claims the prototype was portion of a $22.6 million grant from the California Air Resource Board awarded to Wabtec, BNSF Railway and the San Joaquin Valley Air Air pollution Manage District. 

The providers declined to release fiscal conditions of the settlement or a probable time body for commercialization of a battery or fuel cell-driven locomotive.