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

Simple lightweighting in packaging, caps not so simple anymore

October 22, 2014 4:16 pm ET

The days of finding simple ways to remove additional weight — and costs — from plastic bottles are over, according to one expert.    More

Image

Ford's final ACH plant, injection molder of HVAC systems, to close

October 22, 2014 1:58 pm ET

Ford Motor Co. will shed the last line of business in 9-year-old Automotive Component Holdings LLC by December when ACH closes its Plymouth, Mich.,...    More

Image

Unilever uses foaming in new bottle

October 22, 2014 1:35 pm ET

Foaming is a good alternative to thin-walling for reducing plastic use in consumer goods packaging, according to a Unilever plastics expert.    More

Image

Bioplastics, design join forces for SOMA

October 21, 2014 11:33 am ET

A polylactic acid made by Germany's Fraunhofer UMSICHT is a key part of the Soma home water filtration system, which its developers call the...    More

Image

BASF targets coffee and automotive connoisseurs with new resin grades

October 21, 2014 2:07 pm ET

BASF SE is using polybutylene terephthalate (PBT), which is normally used to manufacture high-end electronics, in a food consumer packaging product.    More

Market Reports

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 million dollar 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

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

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

More Events