Automotive Engineering - February 2024 - 8

TECHNOLOGY REPORT
cube can generate 77 kW " and is much
quieter than a conventional diesel propulsion
system. " The modular power
cubes can be arrayed in a multiple arrangement
for vehicles requiring more
power. The power cubes for the
Autocar applications will be manufactured
by GM in Brownstown, Michigan.
During a press gathering in July 2023,
Freese intimated that the modular power
cube format is ideal for larger vehicles
that have high-energy demands. He
added that the second-generation fuel
cell design has markedly reduced loadings
of precious metals required for the
system's catalyst; the Gen 0 design used
about 80 grams of platinum, Gen 1 reduced
the amount to around 30 grams
- and the Gen 2 technology has cut the
amount to the 20-gram level.
Zero-emissions, built to order
The JDA between GM and Autocar sees
fitment of the modular power cubes in
Autocar's vocational trucks such as cement
mixers, roll-offs and dump trucks
The GM Hydrotec
fuel cell power cube
contains more than 300
hydrogen fuel cells and
generates 77 kW.
that share a common platform. Later, the
companies said refuse trucks and terminal
tractors will be added. The fuel cellpowered
trucks will be built to order by
Autocar and sold directly to customers.
" Autocar provides customized vocational
trucking solutions, and as regulations
change, we see Hydrotec fuel cells
as an additional avenue for our customers
to meet their EPA [Environmental
Protection Agency] requirements
with zero tailpipe emissions vehicles, "
said Eric Schwartz, Autocar president,
in a release. " GM's scale, reliability and
the capability of their Hydrotec fuel cell
technology will enhance Autocar's existing
platforms, " he added.
Triz Engineering - a commercial-vehicle
engineering company owned by
GVW Group, which also owns Autocar
- will provide " expert integration support
for power distribution between the
fuel cell and batteries, which store electricity
that is captured from regenerative
braking or is created by the HYDROTEC
power cubes, " the companies said.
" We have carefully studied existing
severe duty vocational trucks to understand
their specific demands and requirements, "
said Johann Vorster, president
of TRIZ Engineering. " With GM
and Autocar, we have built a fuel cell
application that is unique within vocational
vehicles - giving severe duty
trucking more options to be truly rugged
and capable of achieving zero tailpipe
emissions. "
Although GM or Autocar did not
Charlie Freese,
executive director
of GM Hydrotec
and GM Defense,
details GM's
first-generation
fuel-cell prototype
in 2016.
8 February 2024
mention potential prices for the for the
fuel-cell trucks, Freese suggested initial
costs will be higher than their internalcombustion
counterparts. He said the
fuel cell-powered propulsion is " not yet
on cost parity " with a diesel powertrain
in the vocational trucks the companies
are targeting for fuel-cell fitment.
Bill Visnic
AUTOMOTIVE ENGINEERING
FROM TOP: JIM FETS FOR GENERAL MOTORS; SAE/BILL VISNIC

Automotive Engineering - February 2024

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Automotive Engineering - February 2024 - INTRO1
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Automotive Engineering - February 2024 - CVR1
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