Honda and General Motors are reportedly working towards a joint venture factory that will produce hydrogen fuel cells.
A report in the Asahi Shimbun claims that the two car makers are looking to setup a plant to make next-generation fuel cells for automotive applications.
Anonymous sources said that Honda and GM plan to have this factory operational by 2025 at the latest. No indication has been given, yet, as to where the new plant will be located.
The current plans call for the two partners to jointly produce fuel cells, which take hydrogen stored in highly pressurised form on-board and combine it with oxygen drawn from the air to produce water, that’s emitted as exhaust, and electricity.
Honda and GM will, however, individually engineer their own cars to make use of these new joint venture fuel cell units.
According to the news service, the Japanese government is planning on introducing incentives that will lead to fuel cell vehicles being price competitive with petrol-electric hybrids by 2025.
Thanks to the high development and production costs involved with fuel cell technology, automakers have been forming alliances to help drive down expenses and speed up development. Honda and GM have been working together on fuel cell technology and in-car hydrogen storage since 2013.
Toyota and BMW are currently working hydrogen and fuel cell technology together, as well as a sports car platform that will spawn the successors to the BMW Z4 and the long-departed Toyota Supra. Daimler, Ford and Nissan are also collaborating on fuel cell development.
Last year, Honda launched its third-generation fuel cell vehicle, the Clarity (pictured above). Priced at a 7.66 million yen ($92,900), the Clarity is powered by a 130kW/300Nm electric motor, and has a claimed range of around 700km.
With the new GM/Honda fuel cell plant said to come on stream by 2025, it’s likely that it will supply fuel cells for the car that replaces the Clairity.