According to a new report from the US, General Motors (GM) is preparing to combine the best of battery-electric and hydrogen powertrains in its pickup trucks.
GM Authority reports that medium-duty pickups coming as early as 2026 could feature hydrogen fuel cells and large lithium-ion battery packs, essentially creating a hydrogen plug-in hybrid.
“The battery pack would have less capacity than an equivalent pack used to power a pure BEV, but would still have enough juice to act as the main power source for the electric motors,” says GM Authority.
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General Motors has previously announced that it will offer hydrogen fuel cell technology in its medium-duty (4,500 to 6,500 trucks) vehicles after 2025, but hasn’t confirmed what form that will take.
Most fuel cell vehicles have a small battery pack that is constantly powered by the hydrogen fuel cell stack. The Toyota Mirai has a 1.2kWh lithium-ion battery, but it’s not big enough to power the car on its own for more than a moment.
Instead, it ensures that energy is always immediately available for the car’s electric motors.
The combination of a fast-refueling power source (currently a petrol or diesel engine) and a larger battery pack, capable of a range of 50 to 100 kilometers alone, is what some owners say is the best of both worlds.
In a gasoline or diesel PHEV, the battery and electric motor allow a car to offer zero-emissions driving in certain circumstances, without the range fears or limitations associated with electric vehicles.
Given that hydrogen fuel cell vehicles inherently do not emit carbon dioxide, it’s not entirely clear what benefit a battery pack would bring to GM hydrogen-powered trucks.
The battery pack could increase the range of the vehicle when hydrogen was not available, or it could be used to power external devices without having to rely on hydrogen when stationary.
However, don’t be surprised to see similar technologies in the GM and Honda product lines.
The pair have a partnership to develop hydrogen fuel cell and electric cars, and Honda recently announced plans to sell a plug-in hybrid hydrogen CR-V in the US starting in 2024.
It’s common in cars and SUVs, but plug-in hybrid technology isn’t yet widely available in the parapet or truck world.
Ford has all but confirmed that the Ranger will eventually feature a PHEV powertrain, and Mitsubishi is expected to offer a plug-in version of the next Triton.
https://7news.com.au/lifestyle/motoring/gm-developing-hydrogen-plug-in-hybrid-trucks-report-c-9071355 GM Develops Hydrogen Plug-In Hybrid Truck – Report