General Motors And Honda Joined Forces To Build Affordable Fuel Cell Cars For 2020

Feb 01, 2017 08:11 PM EST | Carl Anthony Teves

General Motors and Honda announced on Monday that they will be equally split $85 million in investment to increase their fuel-cell partnership creating a new manufacturing venture in southeast Michigan. Both companies goal is to create future electric cars that will only rely on hydrogen for power and emit nothing but water from the tailpipe.

The two large automakers have been working together on hydrogen-related automobile tech since 2013. Both companies will focus on their goal to bring scalability and affordability to the automaker's hydrogen effects which, until now, has been limited to prototypes or limited-run production models that are only offered in selected markets.

Toshiaki Mikoshiba, president, and CEO of Honda North America mentioned in a press release: "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." He added that this venture will create new value for customers in fuel-cell vehicles in the future.

However, no further details were given where the technology will be applied to an upcoming car or SUV. It's also not yet confirmed whether General Motors and Honda will co-launch the new hydrogen vehicles at the same time.

The previous fuel-cell vehicle already developed by the two automakers gives the public a sneak peak on the future cars. An example is Honda's Clarity Fuel Cell sedan, which can be paid for three years at $369 a month. The car has 366 miles of driving range, which surpasses the driving range of the famous electric cars such as the Tesla Model S and Chevrolet Bolt EV.

Meanwhile, GM's latest hydrogen-related vehicle is a fuel cell pickup truck that is based on the Chevrolet Colorado and is made for the U.S. military. A previous program was launched by GM called the Chevy Equinox-based HydroGen4, which only 100 were produced as part of the company's project driveway fuel-cell test program.

The two companies already confirmed the formation of Fuel Cell System Manufacturing which will start producing advanced hydrogen fuel cell starting by 2020. The factory will be based in Brownstown, Michigan at a battery manufacturing site owned by GM. The combined investment is expected to create nearly 100 new jobs.


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