Navistar agreed with General Motors and OneH2 to create a complete hydrogen truck solution. GM is contributing its Hydrotec fuel cell technology, while One H2
will be responsible for hydrogen production and refuelling.
Navistar which Volkswagen’s subsidiary Traton just acquired, plans to launch its first fuel cell production model in the US in 2024. First test vehicles may begin piloting in late 2022. OneH2 plans to deliver more than 2,000 of Navistar’s fuel cell trucks and integrate them into existing fleets.
The billion-euro deal between Traton and Navistar is based on a strategic alliance that has linked the two groups since 2017. Joint purchasing and new technology collaboration and complementary positioning in different markets in Europe, South and North America, will mark a new global company – looking at Navistar’s new deal, this will mean that GM and VW effectually will work together, or at least share technology through Navistar.
For the tech, GM Hydrotec will deliver so-called fuel cell power cubes. Each stack contains over 300 hydrogen fuel cells along with thermal and power management systems. GM says the power cubes are compact and easy to package and can serve in several applications.
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The vehicles at hand will deliver a “long-haul transport solution” that J.B. Hunt will first implement on “dedicated routes”, explains Navistar. Hunt are one of the largest transportation and logistics companies in North America and an existing client. Navistar’s promise: “The integrated solution will be competitive with other powertrain offerings with a target range of 500+ miles and a hydrogen fueling time of less than 15 minutes.” Said stations would be provided OneH2 in which Navistar also took a stake as part of the new agreement. John Roberts, J.B. Hunt president and CEO, considers this “new fully-integrated solution offers a prime opportunity,” to cut emissions.
GM is no stranger to hydrogen trucks but says the cooperation with Navistar and OneH2 is independent of “other agreements” – likely meaning the deal with Nikola. The planned deep dive with the start-up has been floated since Nikola was put underwater by short-sellers. A memorandum of understanding signed in late November has been held up regardless and GM and Nikola agreed that the automaker will supply its Hydrotec system for Nikola Class 7 and 8 commercial vehicles (i.e., the heavy trucks). Any deal with GM won’t affect the Nikola Tre for Europe where Nikola is working with Bosch to supply possibly the entire fuel cell system.
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