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Breaking: General Motors to Partner With Honda on Future Green Technologies; Possibly Develop Joint EV Tech (Update)

4 years ago by Eric Loveday 19

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Japanese news outlet Nikkei is reporting that Honda and General Motors will partner up for the development of future environmental technology.polls_honda_logo11_0053_482647_answer_3_xlarge

Honda Executive Vice President Tetsuo Iwamura and GM Vice Chairman Stephen Girsky will hold a formal news conference in New York at 9 am EST on July 2 (today).

Here’s what the Nikkei reports:

“The deal is a shift in strategy for Honda, which has been working on its own amid a big shift in carmakers’ approach to green technology.”

“General Motors has a joint venture in China with Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp. (Group) in electric cars. The deal with Honda will allow the US carmaker to form a partnership with a Japanese company.”

Meanwhile, some other reports suggest that this will be a fuel-cell development deal, though we remain wishful that it’ll extend to include plug-in vehicles, too.

Update: Turns out it is fuel cell work. From GM’s official press release (which you can read here):

“General Motors (NYSE: GM) and Honda (NYSE: HMC) announced today a long-term, definitive master agreement to co-develop next-generation fuel cell system and hydrogen storage technologies, aiming for the 2020 time frame. The collaboration expects to succeed by sharing expertise, economies of scale and common sourcing strategies.”

GM Celebrates Almost 40 Years Of Not Building A Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicle In This Slide Released Today!  (we do get a "?" for 2020 now though)

GM Celebrates Almost 50 Years Of Not Building A Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicle In This Slide Released Today!       (but we did get a very solid “?” for 2020+ on the tech now though…so that is something)

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19 responses to "Breaking: General Motors to Partner With Honda on Future Green Technologies; Possibly Develop Joint EV Tech (Update)"

  1. Schmeltz says:

    Interesting development. Honda has been a BIG proponent of Fuel Cell Vehicles for quite some time, but then again, so was GM pre-bankruptcy. They both have/had their own proprietary approaches to FCV’s–think Honda Clarity and Chevrolet Fuel Cell Equinox. I just have doubts this is about FCV’s. No Hydrogen infrstructure to speak of = no sales of FCV’s.

    I’m suspecting this has more to do with mass producing lower cost EV’s in China, (Where GM is in a dominant position already, and Honda wants to get there foot in the door) vs. perhaps a mass-market 300 mile range EV sedan for the masses here in the U.S.

    1. kdawg says:

      I think this is a win for Honda, who is behind in the game.

      1. Schmeltz says:

        Well KDawg, looks like I was wrong on that one…according to what I have just read at Automotive News, this arrangement is ALL about fuel cells. Sheesh! I mean, people can scarcely wrap their heads around just plugging a car into a wall socket, then tell them to go look for a hydrogen station somewhere???

        1. kdawg says:

          Maybe the hydrogen guys at GM & Honda were not getting any love, so they sought each-other out. Misery loves company 🙂

  2. Jay Cole says:

    There will be no hydr***n reporting at InsideEVs!

    …and the world will implode if there is a plug-in fuel cell vehicle (which sounds like a terrible idea anyway)

    1. vdiv says:

      A diesel turbine extended range fuel cell EV… with a super capacitor, integrated roof PV, and KERS.

      Where can I order one? 🙂

    2. DrInnovaiton says:

      Not sure why you think a PFCEV (plug in Fuel Cell EV) is a bad idea.. I think the ideal use of a Fuel cell is as a range extender. Even a modest 10kW FC could provide a good safety net and extend range. If the battery is QC, the FC is mostly the saftey net for off-path travel, emergencies and such. Having to wait an 1.5 or even 2hr to get a 40mile range extension would be fine for emergencies. If no plug at one of the commute it could recharge from FC during the day (even at 2kW FC would provide 15kWh in a normal work day. As a range extender, the hydrogen might be generated at the owners house (e.g. even renwable based e.g. solar panels-> H2 during the day).. With a QC battery people are already thinking they could do BEV, but still might worry about trips off the normal interstates. Even a small FC could be a light-weight and easy range extender — if they can get the cost down and the reliability up. Since the costs of FC grows with size, balancing that with a Bigger battery may make them more viable.. only need the hydrogen in emergencies or when you plan for it and produce it at home.

  3. Josh says:

    This smells like more consolidation of FCV research funds, ala Daimler/Toyota. As batteries continue to move forward it is harder to justify spending the money.

    I would think GM would steer clear of Honda on commercial EVs. Specifically for the China market, because of the China/Japan tensions and how that affects consumer behavior in China.

  4. Anthony says:

    So GM’s time table for mass-market fuel cells have been pushed back from 2015-2020? This is my surprised face.

    Anyways, not surprised, they’ll just keep pushing it back until they cut funds altogether and go EVs.

    1. Jay Cole says:

      I may or may not have added that bottom graphic and caption to Eric’s story this morning, (=

      1. Josh says:

        Haha, missed that caption.

  5. David Murray says:

    if the cooperation has anything to do with EVs I’d say Honda is the one that has the most to gain since they have been behind in the hybrid and EV game. Forgive me if their Accord PHEV fails to impress me any. If this has anything to do with Fuel Cells, I’ll yawn and look the other way. I think Tesla has put the last nail in Fuel-Cell’s coffin. In order for fuel cells to succeed they at least a few of the following:
    1) To be Cheaper than an EV
    2) The have longer range than an EV
    3) To have a better fueling infrastructure than an EV
    4) To have cheaper fuel and operating costs than an EV (or at least a gas car)

    I don’t think ANY of these things will be true about a FC vehicle. Up until Tesla and the Volt, you might have been able to make an argument for longer range, but this is no longer an issue. Most FC vehicles have roughly the same range as a Tesla model-S.

    1. A Fuel Cell is just an EV battery that uses steam (water) as it’s electrolyte. Since it takes great amount of energy to cool stream and recharge, it’s released into the atmosphere and re-generated off-vehicle.

      Most components of a Fuelcell EV are common to closed-cell battery EV’s. BEVs use the same motor, inverter, DC-DC converters, wheels, etc. … only differences are a larger battery, plug-port and (optional inboard) charger. A Fuelcell EV typically has a small closed-cell battery pack to supplying greater currents in times of increased acceleration and to aid starting in cool temperatures. A FCEV is really an EV-EV hybrid. (FCEV-BEV)

      While electrolyte in a closed-loop battery cell needs to be recycled only once in an EV battery packs lifecycle, an open-loop fuelcell requires electrolyte to be recycled/replaced each recharge. Thus driving down costs of hydrogen infrastructures are an additional ecconimic hurtle that fuelcells face in addition to scaling cell production volumes. Added costs of handling & managing hydrogen could be substantial over a vehicles lifetime.

  6. Anon says:

    This seems like a recipe for failure, to me…

    1. Alaa Sadek says:

      100%

  7. Bennyd says:

    hydrogen…fracking…why…

    1. Mark H says:

      +1

  8. Bill Howland says:

    You can pick any decade and Hydrogen powered cars are always ‘just around the corner’.

    A serious question: what is the retail price of hydrogen currently in the states, assuming you live near a dispensory?

    My point is, Hydrogen will never be commercially viable, since it will always be too costly to make..

    Hydrogen did have a chance to be cheaply made with GEN 3+ Nuclear plants, but the number of working reactors is now down to under 100 in the States for the first time in many years… The trend is for these old hulking behemoths to be shut down, since John Q. Public is now realizing they’ve been lied to by the first AEC chairman who said Nuclear power would be “Too Cheap To Meter”.

    Ask any small buisness owner in Southern California Edison territory who pays $20 / kw, the legacy of SONGS (San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, all 3 units now being history), whether he or she would want more Nukes?.

  9. Martin T says:

    Hydrogen is a pipe dream – it takes more energy to “make” hydrogen then to just use the electricity – Go plug in.

    Better to spend money on latest batteries / fast charging super caps
    I wish they would just taker the fuel cell and bury the dam thing for once and for all LOL!

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