GM, Honda latest to join forces on fuel cells

Mike Colias
AUTOMOTIVE NEWS

Published: July 2, 2013 1:38 pm ET
Updated: July 2, 2013 1:40 pm ET

Related to this story

Topics Automotive, Sustainability
Companies & Associations General Motors Co., Honda Motor Co. Ltd.

General Motors and Honda Motor Co. will partner to develop a common system for fuel cell vehicles with the goal of getting them into showrooms by 2020, the companies said today.

GM and Honda, both pioneers in fuel cell technology, said their partnership will cut development costs, partly by consolidating their supplier bases for fuel cell components. And they will work to expand refueling infrastructure, considered the biggest barrier to widespread consumer adoption.

The agreement is the latest in a string of alliances created to share the cost of developing a promising but expensive alternative-fuel technology.

Toyota Motor Corp. and BMW AG in January paired up on a fuel-cell production alliance. Daimler AG, Ford Motor Co. and Nissan Motor Co. that same month said they would jointly develop a line of affordable fuel cell electric cars for sale as early as 2017.

Despite the high cost of refueling stations — $1 million to $2 million — automakers are pursuing the technology as part of a broad product approach to meeting stiffer CO2 regulations later this decade. Hybrid, plug-in hybrid and battery-powered vehicles are also part of the approach.

Fuel cell vehicles use a variety of plastics. They are used in the film at the center of each cell, in connectors and cables and hydrogen fuel tanks are typically made of composite.

A fuel cell vehicle creates electricity from a chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen in the car's fuel-cell stack. Similar to a battery powered vehicle, the car uses electric motors to propel the car and batteries to store energy. Only water vapor is emitted through the tailpipe.

The cost of developing fuel cell vehicles is high partly because of platinum that is used in the fuel-cell stacks and the complexity of onboard storage of gaseous hydrogen, which requires expensive, carbon fiber storage tanks.

GM and Honda executives say they'll be able to commercialize fuel cell vehicles faster and at less cost than if they worked separately.

"As the two established leaders in advanced fuel cell technology, when we combine our talents and expertise, we believe that together we can and will accomplish more than anyone else can," GM Vice Chairman Steve Girsky said in prepared remarks for a speech to announce the agreement in New York today.

The companies said that their engineers will work side-by-side to create a common system for use by both automakers. They will share technology already developed and slated for commercial use, including the next generation of Honda's FCX Clarity, which it plans to launch in Japan and the United States in 2015.

GM and Honda were among the first automakers to develop and produce fuel-cell vehicles. Since 2002, Honda has leased 85 fuel cell vehicles, dubbed FCX, and has accumulated promising data from their real-world use, the company said.

In 2007, GM launched a fleet of 119 hydrogen-powered Chevy Equinox crossovers for consumers to test in the Los Angeles, New York and Washington, D.C., areas. The fleet has racked up nearly 3 million miles of real-world use for evaluation by GM engineers.


Comments

GM, Honda latest to join forces on fuel cells

Mike Colias
AUTOMOTIVE NEWS

Published: July 2, 2013 1:38 pm ET
Updated: July 2, 2013 1:40 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Proposed green building standard delayed until late 2016

November 27, 2014 6:00 am ET

Anyone not ready for a new green building standard — one that may include more favorable ratings for plastics — is getting something of a ...    More

Image

Group backs plastic window alternatives

November 27, 2014 6:00 am ET

A new industry working group is figuring out how to help plastic break through the glass ceiling.    More

RheTech to commercialize hemp fibers to replace glass in PP

November 27, 2014 6:00 am ET

RheTech Inc. plan to commercialize its first hemp fiber compounds in January.    More

Image

SPI hopes to build on EPS recycling

November 26, 2014 6:00 am ET

Successfully recycling expanded polystyrene can be a challenge, there's no doubt about that. EPS, however, has value, is in demand and deserves to be ...    More

Image

Pan-European plastics recycling show scheduled for 2015

November 26, 2014 6:00 am ET

Europe is to get its first pan-European exhibition and conference aimed at the region's plastics recycling industry next year.    More

Market Reports

Plastics Caps & Closures Market Report

The annual recap of top trends and future outlook for the plastics caps & closures market features interviews with industry thought leaders and Bill Wood’s economic forecast of trends in growing end markets. You will also gain insight on trends in caps design, materials, machinery, molds & tooling and reviews of mergers & acquisitions.

Learn more

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Plastics in Mexico - State of the Industry Report

This report analyzes the $20 billion plastics industry in Mexico including sales of machinery & equipment, resins and finished products.

Our analysts provide insight on business trends, foreign investment, top end markets and plastics processing activity. The report also provides important data on exports, production, employment and value of plastics products manufactured.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

October 27, 2015 - October 29, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - New York - 2015

More Events