General Motors and Honda have formed an agreement to co-develop a next-generation fuel cell system and hydrogen storage technologies. The companies said they are aiming to complete the project by 2020. GM and Honda added that they plan to work with stakeholders to increase fueling infrastructure availability.
Both companies have been working on fuel cell technologies of various types for a number of years. GM launched its Project Driveway program in 2007, where a fleet of 119 hydrogen-powered vehicles took to the streets and has now accumulated more than 3 million miles of real-world driving distance.
Honda began leasing its Honda FCX in 2002 and has deployed a total of 85 units in the U.S. and Japan, including a successor to the FCX, the FCX Clarity. A number of fleets in the U.S. are already testing the vehicles. Honda’s goal is to launch the FCX Clarity’s successor in the U.S. and Japan in 2015 and in Europe at a later date. GM said it will announce its own fuel cell production plans at a later date as well.
The automakers noted that according to the Clean Energy Patent Growth Index, GM and Honda rank number one and number two, respectively, in the total number of fuel cell patents filed between 2002 and 2012. The companies share more than 1,200 patents between them, according to the automakers.