Honda and GM exploring joint fuel cell plant, sources say

Honda and GM exploring joint fuel cell plant, sources say image

General Motors and Honda consider a partnership to jointly build a fuel cell plant, according to a news report from a Japanese daily.

The hydrogen-powered cars are definitely a cleaner alternative to the battery-electric ones, but the development of such technology has registered a very slow pace, because of steep costs involved. General Motors and Honda are already in partnership to co-develop the next-generation fuel cell system and hydrogen storage technologies, an agreement announced in 2013 aiming then for 2020 as a time frame to put their research into production. A recent report now shows the two automakers are considering jointly building a fuel cell plant to cut costs and to speed up the development. The new time frame is apparently pushed to 2025 at the latest to start the mass production of fuel cells. While working together, the two companies continue to develop their own cars separately, Japan’s Asahi Shimbun daily said.

After Hyundai introduced its Tucson Fuel Cell Vehicle in 2014 and Toyota launched its Mirai model last year, Honda will soon follow them later this year with the new generation of its Clarity FCX. Clarity’s fuel cell powertrain has a max power of 177 PS (130 kW), with a maximum ideal range at more than 700 km (435 miles) and with a refilling time of approximately 3 minutes. However, the company said the model will most likely have “an anticipated driving range in excess of 300 miles (483 km)”. The high cost behind the fuel cell technology has pushed automakers to join their forces. Daimler is in a partnership with Nissan, as well as Ford, while Toyota is working with BMW in this area.

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