General Motors and Honda announced a long-term, definitive master agreement to co-develop next-generation fuel cell system and hydrogen storage technologies, aiming for the 2020 time frame. The collaboration expects to succeed by sharing expertise, economies of scale and common sourcing strategies.
GM and Honda, acknowledged leaders in fuel cell technology, plan to work together with stakeholders to further advance refueling infrastructure, which is critical for the long-term viability and consumer acceptance of fuel cell vehicles. According to the Clean Energy Patent Growth Index, GM and Honda rank No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, in total fuel cell patents filed between 2002 and 2012, with more than 1,200 between them.
For GM’s hydrogen fuel cell activities, today’s announcement builds on Project Driveway, first launched in 2007. Project Driveway has accumulated nearly 3 million miles of real-world driving in a fleet of 119 hydrogen-powered Chevrolet Equinox vehicles, more than any other automaker. From a Canadian standpoint, integration of the fuel cell components for the Project Driveway fleet took place at the Canadian Engineering Centre in Oshawa, in addition to the base vehicles being supplied from CAMI.
Fuel cell technology addresses many of the major challenges facing automobiles today – petroleum dependency, emissions, efficiency, range and refueling times. Fuel cell vehicles can operate on renewable hydrogen made from sources like wind and biomass. The only emission from fuel cell vehicles is water vapor.
Additionally, fuel cell vehicles can have up to 400 miles driving range, can be refueled in as little as three minutes, and the propulsion technology can be used on small, medium, and large vehicles.