GM, Honda Team Up for Fuel Cell Vehicle Technology
July 3, 2013 7:40 AM
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Duo hopes to commercialize fuel cell technology by 2020
GM and Honda have announced a long-term definitive “master agreement” to co-develop fuel cell system technology and hydrogen storage technologies with the goal of commercializing products within the 2020 timeframe.
The two automakers believe that by sharing expertise and economies of scale they can bring the technology to market. GM and Honda also plan to work with other stakeholders to advance the hydrogen refueling infrastructure that is critical for the viability of fuel cell powered vehicles.
Honda and GM together hold more than 1,200 hydrogen fuel cell-related patents between them.
General Motors Vice Chairman Steve Girsky (L) and Honda North America President Tetsuo Iwamura (R)
“This collaboration builds upon Honda and GM’s strengths as leaders in hydrogen fuel cell technology,” said 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.”
GM and Honda also point out that fuel cell vehicles have a range of up to 400 miles, need only about 3 minutes to refuel, and the propulsion system can be used in small, medium, and large vehicles.
GM has been working with hydrogen fuel cell-powered extensively over the past decade and launched Project Driveway in 2007. That project has a
fleet of 119 hydrogen-powered vehicles
that have accumulated about 3,000,000 miles of real-world driving. Honda began leasing the Honda FCX in 2002 and has 85 units in use in the U.S. and Japan, including the
Honda also plans to launch a hydrogen fuel cell-powered successor to the FCX Clarity in the Japan and the U.S. in 2015 (the vehicle will hit Europe at a later date).
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RE: What happens first...
7/3/2013 2:27:41 PM
There is also the possibility that fuel cells using methanol can be developed instead of just using hydrogen ones.
Also as far as not having infrastructure in place, if you go back 100 years, there were a lot more places selling oats than selling gasoline, so why did automobiles ever become popular over horses as a means of transportation? You can't ask what comes first, the fuel infrastructure or the vehicle technology, they both must mature together just as gasoline and ICE powered vehicles did. And there will be roadblocks along the way to be over come just as how power and efficiency was limited on the first automobiles until antiknock agents were discovered.
RE: What happens first...
7/4/2013 8:03:34 AM
100 years ago we didn't have battery technology worth a damn or natural gas distribution everywhere.
The problem with hydrogen fuel cells is not that building infrastructure is impossible, but that it provides almost no benefit to alternatives. It's either an intermediate between natural gas and mechanical energy, or an intermediate between electrical energy and mechanical energy. For the former, there is no advantage over direct CNG combustion. For the latter, you get range at the expense of 50%+ efficiency loss vs using a battery.
As for methanol fuel cells, it's even more inefficient.
“So far we have not seen a single Android device that does not infringe on our patents." -- Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith
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