GM, Honda venture launch commercial production of fuel cell power system
Detroit’s General Motors (NYSE:) announced alongside Honda (NYSE:) on Thursday that they have initiated the shipment of fuel cell power systems to customers from a factory near Detroit, marking a new exploration into the potential mass-market success of hydrogen power technology.
The initial production of fuel cell power units will be relatively modest, with Honda executive Jay Joseph expressing the company’s goal of delivering 2,000 fuel cell power units annually by the mid-2020s.
In an event held on Wednesday, Joseph revealed that Honda plans to incorporate fuel cells into a version of its popular CR-V sport utility vehicle, set to be unveiled in March. Additionally, fuel cells will find application in other products, including stationary power generators.
Collaborating with Japanese truck maker Isuzu, Honda is also in the process of developing a hydrogen-fueled Class 8 semi-truck.
GM, on the other hand, has previously announced its intentions to supply fuel cell systems to commercial truck maker Autocar and heavy mining and construction equipment manufacturer Komatsu.
Chevrolet-parent company is actively promoting fuel cells under the Hydrotec brand. While GM has been engaged in fuel cell development for almost six decades, GM CEO, Mary Barra, disclosed in 2021 the automaker’s plans to create a medium-duty commercial truck utilizing fuel-cell power.
While fuel cells promise powerful and fast refueling like heavy diesel engines, overcoming challenges for widespread use is a struggle. High costs and a lack of hydrogen refueling infrastructure persist despite government support.
In the GM-Honda venture, they aim to collaborate with customers having centralized refueling capabilities, as mentioned by GM’s Global Hydrotec executive director, Charlie Freese.
Shares of GM are up 1.21% while HMC trades down 0.16% in afternoon trading on Thursday.