8/11/2015

GM-Honda Partnership Stacks Up on Fuel Cells

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The two-year-old fuel cell partnership between General Motors Co. and Honda Motor Corp. has yielded significant advances in reducing the size and weight of the fuel cell stack and supporting components such as compressors, injectors and manifolds.

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The two-year-old fuel cell partnership between General Motors Co. and Honda Motor Corp. has yielded significant advances in reducing the size and weight of the fuel cell stack and supporting components such as compressors, injectors and manifolds. Charlie Freese, GM's head of global fuel cell engineering, tells Automotive News that the next-generation stack the companies currently are testing is about half the size and weight of its predecessor. Costs also have been reduced by "orders of magnitude," he says, noting the amount of platinum needed for the next-gen stack has dropped one-third to about 10 grams.

Honda will introduce its next-gen fuel cell vehicle in 2016.

Freese says the partnership is needed to drive technology advances, standardize parts and increase production volumes to help lower costs. The companies expect to begin using the jointly developed parts in their own fuel cell vehicles by 2020. Honda also is moving forward with plans to launch its FCEV fuel cell vehicle early next year. GM, which has been testing a fleet of Chevrolet Equinox-based fuel cell vehicles for several years, hasn't announced a launch date to commercialize the technology.