General Motors (GM) and Honda have announced what they describe as the car industry’s first manufacturing joint venture to mass produce an advanced hydrogen fuel cell system that will be used in future products from each company.
Fuel Cell System Manufacturing will operate within GM’s existing battery pack manufacturing facility site south of Detroit, and mass production of fuel cell systems is expected to begin around 2020.
The companies are making equal investments totalling $85m in the joint venture.
Honda and GM have been working together through a master collaboration agreement announced in July 2013. It established the co-development arrangement for a next-generation fuel cell system and hydrogen storage technologies.
The companies integrated their development teams and shared hydrogen fuel cell intellectual property to create a more affordable commercial solution for fuel cell and hydrogen storage systems.
“Over the past three years, engineers from Honda and GM have been working as one team with each company providing know-how from its unique expertise to create a compact and low-cost next-generation fuel cell system,” said Toshiaki Mikoshiba, chief operating officer of the North American Region for Honda.
“This foundation of outstanding teamwork will now take us to the stage of joint mass production of a fuel cell system that will help each company create new value for our customers in fuel cell vehicles of the future.”
“The combination of two leaders in fuel cell innovation is an exciting development in bringing fuel cells closer to the mainstream of propulsion applications,” said Mark Reuss, GM executive vice president, global product development, purchasing and supply chain.
“The eventual deployment of this technology in passenger vehicles will create more differentiated and environmentally friendly transportation options for consumers.”