GM and Honda announced on Monday the industry’s first partnership whereby two automakers are going to work together to mass produce hydrogen fuel cells. GM said the products will be used in cars developed and sold by both companies.
The joint-entity is named Fuel Cell System Manufacturing, LLC. Honda and GM will invest $85 million a piece. The two firms announced an initial partnership back in March.
Fuel Cell System Manufacturing will build new hydrogen fuel cells at a plant where GM currently manufactures battery packs, just south of Detroit in a town named Brownstown. Cars that run on hydrogen fuel cells emit nothing but water vapor, GM said.
“Over the past three years, engineers from Honda and GM have been working as one team with each company providing know-how from its unique expertise to create a compact and low-cost next-gen fuel cell system,” said Toshiaki Mikoshiba, chief operating officer of the North American Region for Honda Motor Co., Ltd. and president of Honda North America, Inc. “This foundation of outstanding teamwork will now take us to the stage of joint mass production of a fuel cell system that will help each company create new value for our customers in fuel cell vehicles of the future.”
Plant to open by 2020
GM said that it’ll take a little while before the plant opens, suggesting that it’s currently on track to begin mass manufacturing of the fuel cells sometime in 2020. It’ll create about 100 new jobs, the company said, noting that GM and Honda are two of the biggest holders of patents related to fuel cell technology.