GM and Honda announced they would launch a joint venture and open the world’s first manufacturing plant for producing hydrogen fuel cells.
Dubbed Fuel Cell System Manufacturing, LLC, it will operate out of GM’s facility in Brownstown, Michigan.
“Over the past three years, engineers from Honda and GM have been working as one team with each company providing know-how from its unique expertise to create a compact and low-cost next-generation fuel cell system,” said Honda North America COO Toshiaki Mikoshiba in a press release, referring to the partnership the two companies launched way back in 2013.
“This foundation of outstanding teamwork will now take us to the stage of joint mass production of a fuel cell system that will help each company create new value for our customers in fuel cell vehicles of the future.”
Hydrogen-fueled cars have been more than a theoretical goal of many manufacturers and environmentalists because they would ideally only have water vapor emissions, a clearly preferable byproduct to today’s fossil fuels. The hydrogen-powered Honda FCX Clarity was first manufactured in 2008 and a new gen fuel cell for the model released in the US just last month.
The two companies will each invest $42.5 million into the company and project 100 people will be working for the venture by the time the factory starts rolling hydrogen fuel cells off the assembly lines in 2020.
According to the joint announcement, the two automotive superpowers “integrated their development teams and shared hydrogen fuel cell intellectual property to create a more affordable commercial solution for fuel cell and hydrogen storage systems.”
“The combination of two leaders in fuel cell innovation is an exciting development in bringing fuel cells closer to the mainstream of propulsion applications,” said GM Executive VP Mark Reuss. “The eventual deployment of this technology in passenger vehicles will create more differentiated and environmentally friendly transportation options for consumers.”