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Locally-made GE battery powers zero-emission bus

NISKAYUNA — GE Global Research announced Thursday that it has been able to use one of its Durathon batteries made at its new battery plant in Schenectady to power a zero-emission bus.

GE’s researchers paired the Durathon battery, made using high-density sodium technology, along with a traditional lithium battery and a hydrogen fuel cell.

Fuel cells are still expensive for powering large zero-emission vehicles, so GE has been looking at ways to use them with batteries so that smaller fuel cells can be used, thereby reducing the costs.

The use of the two kinds of batteries has unique benefits since traditional lithium batteries offer a lot of power for acceleration without being able to store a lot of energy for long drives, GE says. However, sodium batteries are just the opposite. They can store a lot of energy, enabling a longer driving range, although they are not suited for acceleration. The technologies work well in tandem, GE found.
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