The US carmaker might have found a way to win the energy market.
The writing is on the wall and a majority of automakers are reading it clearly. The transition from internal combustion to battery electrics is currently underway but there's another essential new technology under development. Mobile and fixed power stations are must-haves for new EVs like the GMC Hummer SUV and Cadillac Lyriq, but also for heavy-duty trucks, trains, and aerospace-related equipment. GM intends to be a leader in this realm as well.
The automaker has just announced plans to accelerate its market presence with its new Hydrotec-based mobile and fixed power stations. Aside from EVs, these state-of-the-art generators are intended for worksites, data centers, and even military support. The generators will all be powered by GM's Generation 2 Hydrotec fuel cell cubes. The goal is for them to replace gas- and diesel-burning power sources.
Each Hydrotec generator is zero emissions and can produce 60 to 600 kilowatts of juice with minimal noise and heat. GM is right now supplying these "fuel cell power cubes" to Utah-based Renewable Innovations to build what's called the Mobile Power Generator (MPG). GM is combining its in-house tech with Renewable Innovations' power integration and management systems.
The aim is to produce a generator capable of fast-charging EVs without having to expand the electrical grid or even install permanent charging stations. Sometimes, power sources are only needed on a temporary basis. A variety of applications for the MPG are currently in development. Both the US Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Ground Vehicle Systems Center and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation are helping to fund these programs.
The California Energy Commission is funding another program, which aims to show how a hydrogen-based mobile power unit can help offset lost energy due to shutting down the power grid to help prevent deadly wildfires. GM and Renewable Innovations previously collaborated on the Empower rapid charger, which can be installed at any fuel station and offers cheaper DC fast-charging capability.
GM is also working on a smaller version of the MPG in partnership with GM Defense. The goal is to replace diesel generators in the field. Equally important, this mini MPG offers nearly 70 percent more power than its diesel counterparts.