Canadian Manufacturing

Honda, GM announce next-gen fuel cell technologies partnership

Automakers have filed more than 1,200 fuel cell patents between them between 2002 and 2012

NEW YORK—General Motors and Honda are launching a long-term initiative to jointly develop next-generation fuel cell and hydrogen storage technologies, the automakers have announced.

The automakers, which have filed more than 1,200 fuel cell patents between them between 2002 and 2012, plan to work together through 2020.

“This collaboration builds upon Honda and GM’s strengths as leaders in hydrogen fuel cell technology,” GM chairman and CEO Dan Akerson said in a statement about the partnership.

“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.”

GM and Honda plan to share expertise, economies of scale and common sourcing strategies and work together with stakeholders to further advance refueling infrastructure, which is critical for the long-term viability and consumer acceptance of fuel cell vehicles.

“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 Motor Co. Ltd. president and CEO Takanobu Ito said.

“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.”

GM’s Project Driveway program, launched in 2007, has accumulated nearly three million miles of real-world driving in a fleet of 119 hydrogen-powered vehicles, more than any other automaker.

Honda began leasing of the Honda FCX in 2002 and has deployed 85 units in the United States and Japan, including its successor, the FCX Clarity, which was named the 2009 World Green Car.

Honda has delivered these vehicles to customers in the U.S. and collected valuable data concerning real-world use of fuel cell electric vehicles.

As previously announced, Honda plans to launch the successor of FCX Clarity in Japan and the U.S. in 2015, and then in Europe.

GM will announce its fuel cell production plans at a later date.

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