General Motors and Honda Team Up in Fuel-Cell Technology

The goal of the two companies is to decrease technological expenses

New cooperation in the automotive sector will begin for General Motors and Honda Motors Co. The two companies will work together over the next seven years to develop the technology and refueling infrastructure needed to make fuel-cell powered vehicles for the masses a reality. Exchange of know-how will help reduce the technology costs and aims at meeting the growing global requirements for emission reducing.

Alliances make the business

Representatives commented that their mutual work will concentrate on building infrastructure, which is necessary for refilling Fuel Cell vehicles. Present technology is really expensive and is one of the reasons this type of cars is not so attractive. General Motors view hydrogen technologies as one of the possible alternatives for reducing the global dependence of oil, Steve Girsky commented, GM Vice Chairman.

Hydrogen vehicles are more expensive than battery-powered electric vehicles, but are of interest to large companies in the industry, which have the money and the know- how for their development. There are many benefits over the battery-powered electric vehicles. They can run five times longer than electric cars, and it takes just minutes to fill the tank with hydrogen, compared with eight hours or so to recharge a battery. Honda has experience in the sector. The Japan company has developed one of the only two hydrogen vehicles in USA – Honda FCX Clarity. The joint venture with GM expected to give its first results in 2015.


One barrier to their widespread adoption is the high cost of the platinum needed to kick-start the chemical reaction within the fuel cell. The platinum alone adds thousands of dollars in costs to each vehicle. Lack of hydrogen fueling stations makes hydrogen fuel cell cars uncompetitive than the conventional ones. GM and Honda will work in alliance in this direction with the main goal of developing cheaper components for stations.

Know- how exchange is not a new phenomenon in the automotive industry. Toyota Motor Corp and BMW AG outlined plans to launch fuel-cell vehicles around 2020. Daimler AG, Ford and Nissan joint venture will be focused entirely on building cheaper hydrogen filling stations.

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