General Motors and Honda have announced plans to team up to mass produce an advanced hydrogen fuel cell system that will be used in future products from each automaker. The auto industry's first manufacturing joint venture will be based within GM's existing battery pack manufacturing facility site in Brownstown, Michigan.
Mass production of fuel cell systems is expected to begin around 2020. 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 are making equal investments totaling $85 million in the joint venture.
"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 Motor Co., Ltd. and president & CEO of American Honda Co., Inc. and Honda North America, Inc. "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."
Although the new fuel cell system is at least three years away, Honda recently started deliveries of its new Clarity Fuel Cell vehicle.
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