General Motors and Honda have announced an agreement to co-develop fuel cell and hydrogen storage technologies, targeting commercially viable systems by 2020.

Honda FCX Clarity

The agreement will see GM and Honda work together, with additional stakeholders, to advance both hydrogen refuelling infrastructure necessary for the long-term sustainability of fuel cell vehicles and consumer acceptance of the technology.

GM chairman and CEO Dan Akerson said both brands are convinced that fuel cell technology, which produces water as its only by-product, has the potential to help reduce the dependence on petroleum and establish sustainable mobility.

“This collaboration builds upon Honda and GM’s strengths as leaders in hydrogen fuel cell technology,” Akerson said.

Print

While GM can trace its fuel cell development back to the 1960s and more recently its Project Driveway program launched in 2007, Honda began leasing the Honda FCX hydrogen fuel cell car in 2002 and continued with its successor, the FCX Clarity (pictured top).

GM and Honda also cite their respective first and second ranking in the Clean Energy Patent Growth Index, with more than 1200 fuel cell patents filed between them between 2002 and 2012.

Honda Motor Company president and CEO Takanobu Ito said both brands are eager to speed up the proliferation of hydrogen fuel cell technology and create more capable and affordable systems.

2Toyota-FCV-R

Though Honda is planning to launch its successor to the FCX Clarity into Japan and the US in 2015, with a European release to follow, GM is still yet to announce its own future fuel cell production plans.

According to reports from May, Toyota is likely to unveil the production version of its own hydrogen fuel cell car at November’s Tokyo motor show, based on the Toyota FCV-R concept (pictured above) first seen in 2011.