GM, Honda To Team on Next-Generation Fuel Cell for 2020


  • Honda FCX Clarity Picture

    Honda FCX Clarity Picture

    Honda has experience in fuel cells and hydrogen fueling with its second-generation FCX Clarity. | July 02, 2013

Just the Facts:
  • General Motors and Honda Motor will team up to develop a next-generation fuel cell and hydrogen storage technologies for 2020.
  • Honda has said it expects to begin mass-producing fuel-cell vehicles by 2020 and plans to unveil the third-generation FCX Clarity in 2015.
  • GM introduced one of the first experimental hydrogen-powered vehicles in 1966.

NEW YORK — General Motors and Honda Motor will team up to develop a next-generation fuel cell and hydrogen storage technologies for 2020.

"We continue to see seemingly strange bedfellows in the development of fuel-saving technologies including powertrains and such," said Michelle Krebs, an Edmunds senior analyst. "This technology is expensive and the customer doesn't know or care who makes what underneath."

GM, which built one of the first experimental hydrogen-powered vehicles in 1966, over the past decade has shown several hydrogen fuel cell concepts, notably the HyWire in 2002 and the Sequel in 2005. The automaker closed its fuel-cell research operation in Honeoye Falls, New York, in fall 2012, consolidating fuel-cell research at GM Powertrain headquarters in Pontiac, Michigan.

Honda has experience in fuel cells and hydrogen fueling in the United States with its FCX Clarity sedan, which is leased in small numbers only in Southern California. The second-generation FCX was introduced in mid-2008.

Honda has said it expects to begin mass-producing fuel-cell vehicles by 2020. Before then, it will launch the third-generation FCX Clarity in 2015 in Japan and the U.S. and later in Europe.

In Japan, Toyota last week said it expects to show a concept version of a new fuel-cell car this fall at the 2013 Tokyo Auto Show that could go on sale in the U.S. next year as a 2015 model.

GM and Honda said their new partnership "expects to succeed by sharing expertise, economies of scale and common sourcing strategies."

The partners will focus, among other things, on developing hydrogen fueling infrastructure, which is seen as one of the major drawbacks to popular acceptance of fuel-cell technology.

Edmunds says: Many global automakers are working on advances in hydrogen and fuel-cell technology — but no one has come up yet with a "silver bullet."

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