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Honda and General Motors (GM) have been collaborating since 2013, with an investment of $85 million (Rs 536 crore) each, to co-develop hydrogen fuel cell powertrains that could be used on their future cars.
This joint effort, aimed at developing and sharing of hydrogen fuel cell and storage systems technology, is now expanding with the creation of a new company called Fuel Cell System Manufacturing (FCSM) which will be located at Browntown, south of Detroit, in GM’s current battery pack manufacturing site. Around a 100 new jobs will be created and the cost of development and manufacturing is expected to reduce considerably through economies of scale. This will help drive down the cost of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and benefit the end consumer.
“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 to create new value for our customers in fuel cell vehicles of the future,” said Honda’s North American COO, Toshiaki Mikoshiba. Between them, Honda and GM have more than 2,220 patents as per the Clean Energy Patent Growth Index. For patents filed between 2002 and 2015, GM ranks first and Honda third. “The combination of two leaders in fuel cell innovation is an exciting development in bringing fuel cell closer to the mainstream of propulsion applications. The eventual deployment of this technology in passenger vehicles will create more differentiated and environment-friendly transportation options for customers,” said GM’s product development boss, Mark Reuss.
GM claims to have already accumulated millions of miles testing vehicles running on fuel cell technology. Honda will be launching its new Clarity Fuel Cell Vehicle (FCV) in Britain this year and it’s claimed to be able to drive over 640km on one tank.