According to Reuters, Honda Motor Co. and Isuzu Motors Ltd have agreed to conduct joint research on fuel cell-powered heavy-duty trucks. The two major Japanese automakers plan to make a prototype model in two years and conduct road tests.

Light- and medium-sized truck specialist Isuzu has for years has focused on diesel engine technology and has yet to market fully electric vehicles, while Honda, which makes Clarity fuel cell cars, seeks to expand the application of its fuel cell technology beyond use for passenger vehicles. “Although we have done extensive R&D into passenger FCVs (fuel cell vehicles), we have not been able to study how best to apply the technology to commercial vehicles,” a Honda spokesman said.

The partnership is the latest in a growing trend among vehicle makers joining forces to better compete in an industry upended by the rise of electric vehicles