Honda and General Motors are taking a step forward on hydrogen-powered cars together, announcing an $85 million investment into hydrogen fuel cell stack production at a plant in Michigan.
GM’s Brownstown Township plant in Michigan will produce the fuel cell equipment, starting around 2020, under the name of the joint venture, Fuel Cell System Manufacturing (FCSM). The project will create 100 new jobs according to the automakers, which share an equal investment in the new venture.
The fuel cell stacks being built will find their way into next-generation hydrogen fuel cell vehicles starting around 2020, and will be shipped to other factories where they will be installed into the vehicles. When the new fuel cell system is ready, it will be deployed in two separate vehicles, one from each automaker.
GM and Honda first joined forces on hydrogen back in 2013, looking for ways to cut development costs while achieving their goals of lighter, smaller, more powerful and less expensive fuel cell stacks.
The FCSM will have a board of directors consisting of three executives from each company and a rotating chairperson.
“With the next-generation fuel cell system, GM and Honda are making a dramatic step toward lower cost, higher-volume fuel cell systems. Precious metals have been reduced dramatically and a fully cross-functional team is developing advanced manufacturing processes simultaneously with advances in the design,” said Charlie Freese, GM executive director of Global Fuel Cell Business. “The result is a lower-cost system that is a fraction of the size and mass.”
Honda is currently selling a hydrogen powered vehicle, the Clarity, which went on sale in December of 2016.