2020 target for fuel cell production

General Motors and Honda have announced a joint venture to mass produce an advanced hydrogen fuel cell system.

Fuel Cell System Manufacturing will produce products that will be used in future products from each company. It will operate within GM’s existing battery pack manufacturing facility site in Michigan.

Mass production of fuel cell systems is expected to begin around 2020 and create nearly 100 new jobs. 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 and president and CEO of American Honda and Honda North America. ‘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.’

GM and Honda have more than 2,220 fuel cell technology patents between them, ranking first and third respectively in total fuel cell patents filed in 2002 through 2015.

‘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.’