FCSM is equally owned by the two partners, and intends to be the first large-scale manufacturing joint venture to build fuel cells. FCSM president, Suheb Haq, stated that “this is a historic day for the industry as General Motors and Honda are the first full fuel cell system manufacturing joint venture to begin volume production of fuel cells for transportation and beyond.”
Having a long-standing interest in hydrogen, the American and Japanese companies have started working together on building fuel cells since 2013. And in early 2017, they jointly invested a sum of 85 million US dollars in establishing the venture in Brownstown, Michigan. The 6 500 m² production facility has already created about 80 job opportunities. Tetsuo Suzuki, vice president of FCSM and Honda representative, affirms: “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.”
Affordable and Sustainable Fuel Cells
The two companies aim to develop affordable, high quality and durable fuel cells. The goal is to double the lifespan of the fuel cell in comparison to that of the Honda Clarity of 2019 by using materials that are less susceptible to corrosion and enhancing its performance at low temperature. They are looking to cater to a wide range of applications.
Earlier this year, Honda has laid out its hydrogen strategy and has recently announced demonstration testing of hydrogen-powered heavy-duty trucks with Isuzu in Japan. As far as GM is concerned, it signed an agreement with Autocar in the USA, and more recently, another one with Komatsu to develop electric drive mining trucks.
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Article written by Laurent Meillaud and translated by Mariem Ben Tili