General Motors and Honda Motor Corporation, two of the highest-profile automotive advocates for hydrogen power, are joining forces to facilitate development of a next-generation fuel cell system and associated hydrogen refueling infrastructure and storage technologies. Under terms of a "definitive master agreement," the two will share basic expertise, economies of scale and common sourcing strategies to bring about these advances by roughly the end of the decade.
"This collaboration builds upon Honda and GM's strengths as leaders in hydrogen fuel cell technology," noted Dan Akerson, GM chairman and CEO. "We are convinced this is the best way to develop this important technology, which has the potential to help reduce the dependence on petroleum and establish sustainable mobility."
Takanobu Ito, president & CEO of Honda Motor Co. Ltd, echoed Akerson's sentiments: "Among all zero CO2 emission technologies, fuel cell electric vehicles have a definitive advantage with range and refueling time that is as good as conventional gasoline cars. Honda and GM are eager to accelerate the market penetration of this ultimate clean mobility technology, and I am excited to form this collaboration to fuse our leading fuel cell technologies and create an advanced system that will be both more capable and more affordable."
During the past decade, both automakers have amassed relatively extensive experience in a variety of pioneering fuel cell programs and collectively applied for over 1,200 fuel cell-related patents between 2002 and 2011.
Participants in GM's Project Driveway operation, which launched in 2007, have now accumulated a record 3+ million real-world test miles with a fleet of 119 hydrogen-powered Chevy Equinox crossovers. Following the introduction of its original FCX model in 2002, Honda brought the futuristic FCX Clarity to market in 2009 on a lease-only basis in Southern California. While Honda has already confirmed the FCX's successor will arrive in 2015, GM has yet to offer specific timing details regarding its future production fuel cell vehicles.
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