Industry News

GM and Honda announce their joint venture focused on hydrogen fuel cell production

by | Jan 26, 2024

Recently General Motors and Honda decided to start a joint venture project, which will focus on the development and production of hydrogen fuel cells. This project will be an exact 50-50 joint venture and will be held at a facility specially dedicated to the project in the US.

The whole idea behind the project is to manufacture fuel cells, which are one-third lower in cost to make. This is one of the reasons why the companies have agreed to create a joint venture, as completing the development like this will be one way to effectively lower the manufacturing cost. This conclusion was drawn through comparing data for the cost of the fuel cell system in the 2019 Honda Clarity fuel cell and the current project.

In order to make their project successful, GM and Honda plan to leverage economies of scale, advance the cell design, simplify the supporting auxiliary equipment, utilise common sources and reduce the use of costly and precious materials. The companies plan to combine these techniques as doing this will lead to much lower design and manufacturing costs, efficiently bringing the companies closer to achieving their aim.

This project will be based in a US facility, FCSM, which will be dedicated specifically to this project, in Brownstown, Michigan. This facility was created in January of 2017 and was developed through a joint investment of $86m. Since being set up, the 70,000sq. ft. facility has come a long way and is now successfully and efficiently producing hydrogen power solutions, which both companies will be able to use for a multitude of purposes.

All of these developments and projects align with Honda’s hydrogen strategy, which the company announced in February of 2023. Honda’s hydrogen strategy revolves around their aim to produce 60,000 fuel cell units by 2030. Furthermore, Honda has more aims to see an increase in this statistic to a ‘few 100,000’ more units per year by the second half of the 2030s.

FCSM President, Suheb Haq, commented, “We begin the process with raw materials for membrane and electrode all the way through completed systems. Ongoing investment and commitment by both companies is driving our success at FCSM. This commitment algins with our mission of making high quality, durable and affordable hydrogen fuel cell systems for a wide range of applications and customers.”

FCSM’s Vice-President, Tetsuo Suzuki, mentioned, “We integrated the strengths of Honda and GM to create the most capable production system at this joint venture. We brought a mass production mindset with attention to detail and a focus on high quality, and now we are ready to meet the needs of the customers for the future applications of fuel cell technology and the beginning of the hydrogen era.”

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