Automakers Form New $170 Million Joint Venture
To Produce Hydrogen-Powered Systems in Michigan
General Motors and Honda said Monday that they’ll jointly manufacture hydrogen fuel cell systems at GM’s existing battery pack plant in Brownstown, Mich., south of Detroit. It’s “the auto industry’s first manufacturing joint venture to mass produce an advanced hydrogen fuel cell system that will be used in future products from each company,” states a joint release.
“Mass production of fuel cell systems is expected to begin around 2020 and create nearly 100 new jobs,” states the release.” The companies are making equal investments totaling $85 million in the joint venture.”
Honda and GM have announced “a master collaboration agreement” on fuel cells and hydrogen storage technologies in mid-2013 (F&F, July 2, 2013). “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.”
A ‘Foundation of Outstanding Teamwork’
“Over the past three years,” said Honda Motor Company North America COO Toshiaki Mikoshiba, “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.”
“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, the company says, citing the Clean Energy Patent Growth Index.
Honda began delivery of its all-new Clarity Fuel Cell vehicle to U.S. customers in December 2016 following a spring 2016 launch in Japan (F&F, December 20).
FCVs Long in Development
GM, according to the joint venture announcement, “is currently demonstrating the capability of fuel cells across a range of land, sea and air applications. The company has accumulated millions of miles of real-world driving in fuel cell vehicles.”
GM’s “Project Driveway” for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles dates from 2007.
The automakers also noted yesterday that they collaborated in a powertrain cross-supply arrangement in 1999 under which Honda manufactured 50,000 V-6 engines for the Saturn Vue, and Honda received diesel engines from GM’s Isuzu affiliate for use in Europe.
Contact information is only available to premium subscribers. Click here to purchase a subscription.
Source: GM and Honda with Fleets & Fuels follow-up