General Motors Invests in Potentially Cheap Green Hydrogen Production

GM Fuel Cell Technician 7 photos
Photo: General Motors
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General Motors (GM) partnered with a company that specializes in electrolyzer production. Together, the two companies will develop the means necessary for selling green hydrogen and fuel-cell vehicles (FCEV). Here’s what’s going on.
There is no doubt that most of the world’s developed economies are trying their best to find a sustainable way toward the decarbonization of the transportation sector. Replacing fossil fuel-hungry cars with all-electric ones seems to be what decision-makers want. Some countries already have bans in place for the sale of internal combustion engines (ICE) from a certain point forward, while others try to encourage the acquisition of EVs through different kinds of incentives.

But the entire automotive future cannot rely only on battery-electric vehicles. Various industries need to have options. Passenger car buyers would also benefit from having a choice to make, other than just seeing their favorite ICE vehicle becoming illegal or unusable due to possible fuel shortages.

Enter hydrogen and fuel cell vehicles (FCEVs). There is a silent competition going on for hydrogen, and the U.S. tries not to lose it. Germany, China, and Australia are pushing toward developing FCEVs, but they’re not making a big case out of it. Neither does Japan, which has Toyota working with hydrogen for a while now.

General Motors understood this could become a profitable and vital market sector. So, it set up the Hydrotec. This division is developing “the affordable hydrogen fuel cell power solution for land, air, and sea applications.” Now it intends to continue the research together with Nel – the company that set up for the first time a fully automated alkaline electrolyzer production line.

Together, the two companies intend to produce renewable (or green) hydrogen, which could have multiple cost-competitive applications.

GM will supply its Hydrotec fuel cell, while Nel will bring its electrolyzer technology to the table. Their combined efforts could lead to green hydrogen that has the potential to be competitive with fossil fuel prices. If successful, this would turn Nel into a desirable green hydrogen manufacturer. That’s why the company decided to compensate GM for the development work. It will also pay a license after the commercialization of the final product.

GM and Nel intend to access public funds, according to WardsAuto. The U.S. Department of Energy continues to accept applications for the development of green hydrogen production. At the same time, several states are trying to attract investments by setting up favorable conditions for companies active in this field.
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About the author: Florin Amariei
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Car shows on TV and his father's Fiat Tempra may have been Florin's early influences, but nowadays he favors different things, like the power of an F-150 Raptor. He'll never be able to ignore the shape of a Ferrari though, especially a yellow one.
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