General Motors and Honda have partnered to develop fuel-cell vehicles and infrastructure.
The two companies yesterday announced an agreement to co-develop fuel cell and hydrogen storage technologies, aiming to complete their work around 2020. They say they’ll also work together on refueling infrastructure.
Fuel-cell vehicles can have up to 400 miles driving range, can be refueled in as little as three minutes, and the propulsion technology can be used on small, medium and large vehicles, the companies say.
According to the Clean Energy Patent Growth Index, GM and Honda rank No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, in total fuel cell patents filed between 2002 and 2012, with more than 1,200 between them.
GM’s Project Driveway program, launched in 2007, has accumulated about 3 million miles of real-world driving in a fleet of 119 hydrogen-powered vehicles, more than any other automaker, the company says.
Honda began leasing of the Honda FCX in 2002 and has deployed 85 units in the US and Japan, including its successor, the FCX Clarity (pictured), which was named the 2009 World Green Car.
Honda plans to launch the successor of FCX Clarity in Japan and the US in 2015, and then in Europe. GM says it will announce its fuel cell production plans at a later date.
The announcement follows media reports that Toyota will begin selling its fuel-cell sedan in the US next year. Hyundai and Kia have said they will offer a fuel cell vehicle in 2015.
Additionally, Ford, Nissan and Daimler signed an agreement earlier this year to develop affordable fuel cell electric vehicles that the automakers hope to have on the road by 2017.
Honda, GM, Toyota, Nissan and Hyundai are all members of the Energy Department’s hydrogen infrastructure partnership, H2USA, launched in May.