General Motors and Autocar Industries have partnered to develop a range of zero-emission vocational trucks powered by GM’s HYDROTEC fuel cell technology. This collaboration marks a significant step toward decarbonizing the transportation sector and offers customers a robust, clean alternative to diesel-powered vehicles.
A Cleaner Future for Heavy-Duty Trucks
The new trucks will leverage GM’s HYDROTEC power cubes, which are compact, scalable, and offer several advantages over traditional diesel engines:
- Zero tailpipe emissions: HYDROTEC fuel cells combine hydrogen and oxygen to generate electricity, producing only water vapor as a byproduct.
- Large payloads and excellent range: Fuel cells enable significant energy carrying capacity, ensuring these trucks can handle demanding jobs without sacrificing range.
- Quiet operation: HYDROTEC power cubes are much quieter than diesel engines, reducing noise pollution and improving operator comfort.
- Fast refueling: Fueling times for hydrogen vehicles are comparable to diesel trucks, minimizing downtime and maximizing productivity.
Collaboration for Innovation
This partnership leverages the expertise of both companies:
- GM’s HYDROTEC fuel cell technology: GM is a leader in fuel cell development and has invested heavily in this technology for various applications.
- Autocar’s vocational truck expertise: Autocar has a long history of designing and manufacturing customized trucks for specific industries, ensuring the new vehicles meet the unique needs of various customers.
First Vehicles in 2026
The first vehicles are expected to roll off the production line at Autocar’s Birmingham, Alabama plant in 2026. Initially, the focus will be on cement mixers, roll-off and dump trucks, followed by refuse trucks and terminal tractors.
- Charlie Freese, GM executive director, Global HYDROTEC: “EV propulsion systems are great for electrifying passenger vehicles, but larger vehicles require robust solutions. HYDROTEC fuel cells are ideal for the most energy-intensive applications.”
- Eric Schwartz, president, Autocar: “HYDROTEC fuel cells provide an additional avenue for our customers to meet their EPA requirements with zero tailpipe emissions vehicles.”
- Johann Vorster, president of TRIZ Engineering: “We have carefully studied existing severe duty vocational trucks to understand their specific demands and requirements. With GM and Autocar, we have built a fuel cell application that is unique within vocational vehicles.”
This collaboration represents a significant step forward in the development of zero-emission commercial vehicles. As regulations continue to evolve and demand for clean transportation solutions grows, HYDROTEC fuel cell technology has the potential to revolutionize the entire industry.
This partnership demonstrates the power of collaboration in driving innovation and building a more sustainable future for transportation.