General Motors has just announced that it will join forces with Honda in order to develop a common system for fuel cell vehicles. The new partnership is planning to get the system on cars by 2020, according to the official press release. For those who don’t know, GM and Honda are both pioneers of fuel cell technology and the new partnership will cut development costs by consolidating their supplier bases for fuel cell components.
According to the Clean Energy Patent Growth Index, GM and Honda rank No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, in total fuel cell patents filed between 2002 and 2012, with more than 1,200 between them. Back in 2007 GM launched the Project Driveaway program, which accumulated almost 3 million miles of real-world driving in a fleet of over 119 hyrdrogen-powered vehicles.
Honda began leasing the FCX in 2002 and since then, it deployed 85 units in the United States and Japan, including its successor, the FCX Clarity, which was named the 2009 World Green Car. Fuel cell vehicles are able to operate on renewable hydrogen made from sources like wind and biomass. The only emission from these vehicles is water vapor. Regarding the range, fuel cell vehicles are able travel up to 400 miles and can be refueled in about 3 minutes.
“This collaboration builds upon Honda and GM’s strengths as leaders in hydrogen fuel cell technology,” said Dan Akerson, GM chairman and CEO. “We are convinced this is the best way to develop this important technology, which has the potential to help reduce the dependence on petroleum and establish sustainable mobility.”
Takanobu Ito, president & CEO of Honda Motor Co. Ltd. said: “Among all zero CO2 emission technologies, fuel cell electric vehicles have a definitive advantage with range and refueling time that is as good as conventional gasoline cars. Honda and GM are eager to accelerate the market penetration of this ultimate clean mobility technology, and I am excited to form this collaboration to fuse our leading fuel cell technologies and create an advanced system that will be both more capable and more affordable.” [source: GM]