The Hydrogen Stream: GM, Autocar aim for hydrogen vehicle production by 2026


General Motors and Autocar Industries have signed a joint development agreement to create a range of zero-emission vehicles powered by GM’s Hydrotec power cubes, based on fuel cell technology. The US automaker said hydrogen could fuel Autocar’s class 8 trucks, refuse trucks, and terminal tractors. GM’s Hydrotec power cubes, its fuel cell propulsion system for commercial vehicles, are compact, easy to package, and scalable. Each power cube contains more than 300 hydrogen fuel cells, providing 77 kW of capacity. The first vehicles are scheduled to go into production in 2026 at the Autocar Truck Plant in Birmingham, Alabama. They will initially build cement mixers, roll-off vehicles, and dump trucks, followed by refuse trucks and terminal tractors.

The Council of the European Union and the European Parliament have reached a provisional political agreement on a regulation that establishes common internal market rules for renewable gases, natural gases, and hydrogen. The legislation aims to facilitate the penetration of renewable and low-carbon gases, like hydrogen and biomethane, into the energy system. The provisional agreement aims to create a separate new entity in the hydrogen sector, the Hydrogen Network Operators (ENNOH), while also detailing access to hydrogen infrastructure and unbundling measures to separate hydrogen production from transport.

Lhyfe and AREC Occitanie inaugurated the Lhyfe Occitanie hydrogen production site in France, owned 80% by Lhyfe and 20% by AREC Occitanie. The second large-scale green hydrogen production site in Occitanie will begin operating commercially in the first half of 2024. Lhyfe said power purchase agreements with renewable electricity producers, including VSB Energies Nouvelles and Kallista Energy, will ensure power supplies.

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Nel has agreed to sell all its shares in Everfuel for aNOK 116.6 million ($10.7 million) to Itochu and Osaka Gas. “Nel is in a build-up phase streamlining the company and focusing all resources on our own growth. We are therefore divesting non-strategic financial positions,” said Nel CFO Kjell Christian Bjørnsen. “With this sale we no longer own any equity listed instruments.”

Andritz and Suomen Säätöenergia have revealed plans to jointly develop a biofuel production plant at a site in Nurmes, Finland. The “Hybrid Refinery Nurmes” project will produce renewable methanol using gasification syngas from biomass and green hydrogen. Austria-based Andritz is now carrying out the first concept study for the project. Production is scheduled to commence by the end of 2026. The two companies said the project will benefit the surrounding community by using excess heat from the plant in a district heating scheme.

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