GM And Honda Announced $85M Joint Fuel Cell System Manufacturing Operation in Michigan

7 months ago by Mark Kane 112

General Motors and Honda, after three years of joint developments on hydrogen fuel cell projects, have announced the establishment of the auto industry’s first manufacturing joint venture to mass produce an advanced hydrogen fuel cell systems.

The Fuel Cell System Manufacturing, LLC will operate within GM’s existing battery pack manufacturing facility site in Brownstown, Michigan, south of Detroit.

GM-Honda Joint Hydrogen Fuel Cell System

Sounds ok, but here is the thing – the scale:

  1. Production to start around 2020
  2. will result in nearly 100 new jobs
  3. total investment to amount to around $85 million, shared equally by both companies

Pretty sure a budget of $85 million spread over ~4 years employing up to 100 people isn’t going to result in the mass production of anything – but we digress.

“Honda and GM have been working together through a master collaboration agreement announced in July 2013. It established the co-development arrangement for a next-generation fuel cell system and hydrogen storage technologies. The companies integrated their development teams and shared hydrogen fuel cell intellectual property to create a more affordable commercial solution for fuel cell and hydrogen storage systems.”

“GM and Honda are acknowledged leaders in fuel cell technology with more than 2,220 patents between them, according to the Clean Energy Patent Growth Index. GM and Honda rank No. 1 and No. 3, respectively, in total fuel cell patents filed in 2002 through 2015.”

General Motors Executive Vice President Global Product Development Mark Reuss (l to r), Michigan Lt. Governor Brian Calley and Honda CEO North American Region and President Honda North America Toshiaki Mikoshiba  (Photo by John F. Martin for General Motors and Honda)

Honda said it sees hydrogen fuel cells as the ultimate automotive solution.

Japanese company currently offers in limited form the Clarity Fuel Cell with up to 366 miles of range.

Toshiaki Mikoshiba, chief operating officer of the North American Region for Honda Motor Co., Ltd. and president of Honda North America, Inc. 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. 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.”

Mark Reuss, GM executive vice president, Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain said:

“The combination of two leaders in fuel cell innovation is an exciting development in bringing fuel cells closer to the mainstream of propulsion applications. The eventual deployment of this technology in passenger vehicles will create more differentiated and environmentally friendly transportation options for consumers.”

GM-Honda Joint Hydrogen Fuel Cell System

Charlie Freese, GM executive director of Global Fuel Cell Business said:

“With the next-generation fuel cell system, GM and Honda are making a dramatic step toward lower cost, higher-volume fuel cell systems. Precious metals have been reduced dramatically and a fully cross-functional team is developing advanced manufacturing processes simultaneously with advances in the design. The result is a lower-cost system that is a fraction of the size and mass.”

Takashi Sekiguchi, managing officer and director and chief operating officer of Automotive Operations, Honda Motor Co., Ltd. said:

“The expertise Honda has established that led to creation of the first-generation Clarity fuel cell system is valuable experience that we are leveraging in the joint development of the next-generation fuel cell system with GM. Our collaboration is an opportunity to further utilize the strengths of each company to popularize fuel cell vehicles at the earliest possible time.”

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112 responses to "GM And Honda Announced $85M Joint Fuel Cell System Manufacturing Operation in Michigan"

  1. speculawyer says:

    $85M? LOL, that’s nothing but a investigation project.

    Keep working on it, maybe you’ll get a breakthrough. But that is clearly not a real manufacturing effort.

    1. mx says:

      Production to start in 2020, so it’s DOA.
      No need to worry.

      1. Dee says:

        Has anyone considered the price of hydrogen production cost? You think it will be dirt cheap, like half the price of gas? Hydrogen is expansive to make and take a lot of energy!! Yes it clean but hard to store and it tends to explode with the conditions are right.. I’ve heard fuel cells called “Fool Cells!” because it just does not add up…

  2. Trollnonymous says:

    meh….

    no thanks.

  3. SJC says:

    with more than 2,220 patents…
    They have invested a lot so the advanced efforts will combine teams for lower costs.

  4. WadeTyhon says:

    “Pretty sure a budget of $85 million spread over ~4 years employing up to 100 people isn’t going to result in the mass production of anything – but we digress.”

    Hah yeah, no kidding heh. The only FCV GM has really discussed as of late is the Colorado ZH2 which is intended for military use.

    GM has been studying the technology for a long time… but it’s pretty obvious that GM sees plug-ins as the way forward for consumer vehicles for now. Not Fuel Cells.

    1. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ sven says:

      Oh, ye of little faith.

      1. Anon says:

        No. Thou with little understanding of fundamental physics…

        Hydrogen is fundamentally inefficient, along with a litany of other issues (creation, transport, storage, delivery, utilization, etc.). HyperChargers (Next Gen SuperChargers), kill it. The technology to charge BEVs in 5 – 10 minutes already exists.

        Hydrogen is dead for passenger vehicles. Get over it.

        1. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ sven says:

          Shouldn’t ye be out attacking mechanical looms with ye trusty ax? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

          1. Zooba says:

            You hear that Anon, pointing out the inefficiencies of one technology versus another means you’re a Luddite.

            That or sven’s a little too invested in fuel cells ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

            1. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ sven says:

              Gentle soul Anon speaks of understanding the fundamental physics of hydrogen. Yet before last week, fundamental physics said that metallic hydrogen, the “holy grail” of physics, does not exist. Then all of the sudden last week, behold, scientists created metallic hydrogen. Poof, just like that, fundamental physics was turned on its head. Metallic hydrogen not only has the potential to be a room-temperature superconductor, but ironically is also a material of unparalleled power that could one day propel Elon and other humans to Mars and deep space.

              So please, spare me the lecture about the fundamental physics of hydrogen, and Luddite hand wringing over why hydrogen fuel cell technology can’t advance or shouldn’t be developed.

              https://www.inverse.com/article/26969-scientists-create-metallic-hydrogen-100-years

              http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-physics-superconductor-idUSKBN15A2RB

              1. Ambulator says:

                That’s a terrible example to demonstrate your point. Hydrogen has long been expected to be metallic at the center of Jupiter, they just lacked the ability to reach pressure to demonstrate it in the lab. Whether they have succeeded is still controversial.

                It’s not very fundamental, either.

                The fundamental problem with hydrogen is the difficulty of compressing it. In fact, that is not so bad that it is unusable, but it makes it very difficult to compete with batteries.

                1. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ sven says:

                  Your information is out of date. The difficulty in compressing hydrogen has been solved. Perhaps you have never heard of a electrochemical hydrogen compressor. It’s very reliable since it is solid state (no moving parts), which also makes it silent when operating. It can compress hydrogen to 800 bar pressure in a single stage, since the hydrogen does NOT heat up while it is being compressed like other it does with other types of compressors. It is also more efficient than an old school compressor with metal pistons or an ionic liquid pistons. You should read up on it.

                  1. Nick says:

                    Apparently it’s a pretty hard problem. I’ve heard about electrochemical hydrogen compressors since 1998, yet we’re still using insanely inefficient piston compressors in 2017.

                    That plus the ~50% efficient PEM electorlizers == very bad round trip efficiency. With the same amount of energy you can go 5x father using Lithium plugin vs H2 PEM.

                    That’s a tough mountain to climb.

                    1. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ sven says:

                      ITM Power has built hydrogen refueling stations in the UK use electrochemical compressors to compress hydrogen generated by onsite wind turbines or solar panels.

                      http://www.itm-power.com/news-item/phaedrus-advanced-refuelling-project

                      Last year after Nuvera demonstrated its electrochemical hydrogen compressor for filling hydrogen fuel-cell fork lifts, it was acquired by Hyster-Yale, one of the biggest manufacturers of forklifts and material handling vehicles. Hyster bought Nuvera predominantly to acquire and commercialize Nuvera’s electrochemical compressor technology.

                      http://www.nuvera.com/blog/nuvera-demonstrates-electrochemical-hydrogen-compressor-for-premiere-fueling-event

              2. instant tq says:

                get your facts right, metallic hydrogen was achieved twenty years ago, http://www.aps.org/publications/apsnews/199606/

                news agencies, you know, are made to create news…

                1. sven says:

                  Twenty years ago? Oh dear. In that case, you should go contact Science Magazine, a peer-reviewed academic journal in which the research article by the physicists who created the metallic hydrogen in January, 2017 claimed it was the first time metallic hydrogen had been achieved, as reported by physics website Phys.org, a website that knows a thing or two about physics. While you’re at it, also update the Wikipedia page for metallic hydrogen, because it says that it didn’t happen 20-years ago, and that you are wrong.

                  Perhaps it is you who needs to “get your facts right.” Just sayin’.

                  Anonymous internet posters like yourself, you know, are made to create FAKE NEWS. . .

                  https://phys.org/news/2017-01-metallic-hydrogen-theory-reality.html

                  http://science.sciencemag.org/content/early/2017/01/25/science.aal1579

                  1. Nick says:

                    Hahaha!

                    So off topic.

                    Just in case you actually care Livermore Scientists Achieve Metallic Hydrogen in 1996. (Yes, that’s 20 years ago 😉 )

                    https://www.aps.org/publications/apsnews/199606/achieve.cfm#

                    1. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ sven says:

                      I actually don’t care, but for argument’s sake those Livermore scientists in 1996 caught just a brief and fleeting glimpse of apparently liquid metallic hydrogen that was never verified and is questioned today.

                      From your link:
                      “Some of the theorists who predicted metallic hydrogen also believed the substance would remain metallic after the enormous pressures required to produce it were removed, and Ashcroft theorized as early as 1968 that it might be a superconductor. But the metallization events at Livermore occurred too brief a period of time to detect these effects if they occurred.”

                      The Harvard researchers in January 2017 produced solid metallic hydrogen, which is still solid today and waiting to be verified.

                      From a ScienceNews.org article on August 10, 2016:
                      “Researchers have reported brief glimpses of the liquid metal form of hydrogen in the lab — although questions linger about the true nature of the material.

                      While no lab has yet produced solid metallic hydrogen, the combined efforts of many scientists are rapidly closing in on a more complete understanding of the element itself — as well as better insight into the complex inner workings of solids.”

                      https://www.sciencenews.org/article/pressure-make-metallic-hydrogen

                  2. Djoni says:

                    And one of the more promising usages of metallic hydrogen if it can be created is using it in energy production and storage – because superconductors have zero resistance, energy could be stored by maintaining currents in superconducting coils, and then be used when needed.-

                    Seems to me, this would be the final step to propel EV forever.

                    Hum! Going back to basic.

                    See the light?

              3. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

                You continue to expose your lack of scientific literacy. Compressing hydrogen to the point that it becomes metallic has been theorized for quite some time. In fact, the concept was referred to in the science fiction novel The Mote in God’s Eye, in 1974.

                As for your “Luddite” claim, you could say the same about efforts to make perpetual motion or “Free energy” machines. I don’t believe the laws of physics can be violated in that way, just as I don’t believe they can be violated to make it practical to power cars using compressed hydrogen for fuel.

                Contrariwise, you do believe it’s possible to violate the laws of physics, Sven. That doesn’t make you more open-minded. The sad thing is that you’re smart enough to know that what you’re posting about fool cell cars is B.S.; you actually choose invincible ignorance.

                As I’ve said before: It’s sad when someone starts believing his own lies.

                1. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ sven says:

                  You’re the dummy who tried to refute the mathematical basis underlying Moore’s Law, calling it a “simple geometric decrease.”

                  You claimed that each annual increase in battery energy density is getting smaller (decreasing) each and every year. I showed you the math to prove to you that you are wrong, but you weren’t intelligent enough to understand that you had to compound the increase in density, and said I had it backwards. LOL!

                  http://insideevs.com/tesla-cto-j-b-straubel-30-increase-in-battery-energy-density-from-model-s-to-model-3-video/#comment-1105971

                  1. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ sven says:

                    In the link above, Pu-Pu computed a 7.5% increase (improvement) in battery energy density with the following mathematical equation. I dare anyone to stand up and say that his convoluted math is correct.

                    “How sad for you. You can’t even do the math for a simple geometric decrease.”

                    “A 7.5% improvement each year for 5 years is n x 0.925 x 0.925 x 0.925 x 0.925 x 0.925, which comes to 67.72% of the original figure.”

                    The correct math (as I posted in the link above) is as follows:
                    n x 1.075 x 1.075 x 1.075 x 1.075 x 1.075

                    1. Get Real says:

                      So sven, which Big Oil company do you work for???

                      Pretty obvious that you are invested at some level with your constant shilling and carpet bombing/foaming at the mouth for fool cells/the H2 Unicorn.

                      I have a feeling that with your Fuhrer the Trumpster/Bannon the Bigot really starting to wreck what is left of the environment and the US reputation as a democracy that a lot of people on the fence previously are going to really start moving into EVs as a way to fight back against the fascism.

                      Anyways, for your reading pleasure:

                      http://insideevs.com/january-ev-sales-rise-70-in-us-as-chevrolet-bolt-ev-volt-and-toyota-prius-prime-soar/

                    2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

                      @sven:

                      Hey, if you want to keep pointing out your ridiculous claim that, as li-ion batteries improve in energy density every year, the actual amount (not percentage, but the actual measured amount) of improvement actually increases every year, fearlessly violating the law of diminishing returns…

                      Well, you go right ahead and continue to expose your lack of scientific literacy. That’s every bit as bad as you denying basic laws of physics (and basic economics) in claiming that using compressed hydrogen to power fool cell cars can be made practical and affordable!

                      Yes, it is sad when someone starts believing his own lies.

                    3. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ sven says:

                      @Pu-Pu:

                      Boy, you are REALLY dumb. You don’t even know how or when the Law of Diminishing Returns works, and have obviously never taken an Economics class. FYI, improvements in battery density haven’t yet reached the point of diminishing returns, but computer chips are close to reaching that point in terms of transistor density on a chip. So yes, if the percentage improvement in battery density stays constant every year, “actual measured amount” of improvement actually increases every year. It’s basic simple math, and an obvious example is Moore’s Law.

                      I’ll make a bet with you.

                      If I’m right, and the “actual measured amount” of improvement in battery density increases every year, then you agree to leave InsideEVs and never post here again.

                      If you’re right, and the “actual measured amount” of improvement in battery density decreases every year, then I agree to leave InsideEVs and never post here again.

        2. no comment says:

          your statement is not true at all. it is already the case that hydrogen is comparable to gasoline in terms of cost per mile.

          don’t be fooled, while many automakers are making announcements related to BEVs, every one of them, other than tesla, is doing research into FCEVs. that’s because these companies are ultimately driven by what the customer will want.

          1. floydboy says:

            I don’t buy that for a second! Hydrogen light passenger vehicles are an expensive endeavor that many smaller manufacturers cannot begin to afford. Coupled with the fact that batteries are rapidly dropping in price and charging infrastructure is growing exponentially, makes BEVs the ‘move to’ market, not hydrogen.

            My take on this is, just use your clean energy to propel your vehicle! Why take more of it to make it dirty in the steam reformation processing of natural gas, or mess with your potable water to break it apart then put it back together in some expensive Rube Goldberg fashion!

            1. no comment says:

              you are right, FCEVs are very expensive. but keep in mind that the state of FCEV technology is several years behind that of BEV technology at present. cars like the toyota mirai are glorified prototype vehicles for the purpose of in-field beta testing. i suspect that it will be several years before you might see a credible FCEV.

              BEVs are still in the early adopter stage in the product life cycle. that automobile companies are taking in terms of a 10 year window when it comes to their product plans tells you that they are still hedging their bets on what products they will introduce.

              the reason for considering FCEV is that it can refill in the amount of time that it takes to refill a gas tank and can provide comparable range. in addition, FCEV is probably more scaleable such that companies have a chance to replace their current portfolio of ICEVs with equivalent FCEVs. i don’t think that the same can be said for BEVs.

              keep in mind that what is driving the product plans of auto makers are what they perceive to be what the market wants. by “the market”, that means more than just EV enthusiasts.

              1. floydboy says:

                The one thing that was making hydrogen palatable as a fuel source for LPVs(light passenger vehicles) was speed of refill. That advantage is already about to be challenged with very high output charging! Once that happens, there is NO way hydrogen is going to be able to compete. Particularly on infrastructure and refueling costs.

                There are going to be BEVs with more range, more speed, more infrastructure, more refill options(including at home) and less cost to fill and operate than any fuel cell car could begin to aspire to! Not to mention what happens when autonomous vehicles start refilling themselves!

                Yeah, hydrogen as a stand alone fuel for LPVs simply won’t be able to compete! Gotta have that battery as an addition, then eventually just have it take over completely. BEVs are just more powerful, capable of operating more cheaply and operate more cleanly. MEANER, LEANER and GREENER!

          2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

            no comment

            “…it is already the case that hydrogen is comparable to gasoline in terms of cost per mile.”

            That’s one of those “alternative facts”, even though you did find it on a government website. A website which assumed a price for H2 fuel less than $6 per kilo. We’ll never see that except as a highly subsidized price. Basic physics and basic economics (EROI, or Energy Return On Investment) make it impossible to dispense compressed H2 into a “fool cell” car, at a profit, at such a low price.

        3. Ken Gage says:

          Oil is dead. Hydrogen is just getting started.

      2. WadeTyhon says:

        Lol I have faith in a great many things. 😉 If the day ever comes when this is the superior technology over gasoline, BEV, or PHEV we will know.

        In the mean time, GM will probably continue to develop it for more niche industries and government/military contracts.

      3. ffbj says:

        I have faith. Faith that you will find any positive tidbit on HFC and post it, like you did with the above story, a few days ago.

        1. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ sven says:

          That’s not true. I refrained from posting the big hydrogen news that was announced two weeks ago at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where automakers and oil majors joined together to form a Hydrogen Council with plans to invest $10.7 billion in hydrogen-related products over the next five years.

          Hydrogen Council members include automakers Toyota, BMW, Daimler, Honda, Hyundai, and oil and gas giants Shell and Total.

          https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-01-17/toyota-shell-among-auto-and-oil-giants-forming-hydrogen-council

          1. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ sven says:

            Oops, there I go again! Maybe you’re right about me.

          2. jelloslug says:

            As usual it’s always “plans to” and “in the near future”. The hydrogen future is just around the corner, just like that last 20 years.

          3. Get Real says:

            Now that we have many of the serial insideevs trolls once again shilling for H2/Big Oil companies posting again on fool cells and the mythical H2 unicorn: zzzzz, sven, no comment.

            I don’t think its any coincidence that they are also all ardent Tesla bashers.

            In any case, the Big Oil composition of the so-called “Hydrogen Council” should be our first clue of what is really going on here.

            Big Oil companies (who otherwise only want to continue to extract and sell fossil fuels) hoping that THEIR H2 will be the next fuel to drain our wallets of our money.

            All I can say is FU Big Oil and your cronies!

            Now that I can make my own fuel I will NOT be returning to your polluting and leeching grasp.

            1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

              “I don’t think its any coincidence that they are also all ardent Tesla bashers.”

              LOL! Ya think?

              Yeah, it’s quite noticeable that every single “fool cell” fanboy here is also an ardent anti-Tesla FUDster.

              It’s almost like the two were somehow connected… 😉

              1. Jason says:

                As a current EV driver, and seeing how quickly battery technology is going, it is hard to see why I would go back to a system where I have to fill up somewhere other than home. Maybe if the fuel cell that you fill up once a year comes along, that might be a game changer, but I think that is fanciful or far into the future.
                Big solar, battery pack and EV, total independence of external influences. Everything else is just people trying to get more out of me for no real benefit, IMO.

                1. Akovia says:

                  “As a current EV driver, and seeing how quickly battery technology is going, it is hard to see why I would go back to a system where I have to fill up somewhere other than home”. That’s exactly our situation and it suits us perfectly!

    2. Madflower says:

      85m is probably enough to manufacture fuel cells for the Colorado. The army guy from the advanced fuel technology group sounded a giddy about them. Saying something like they were the way of the future.

      There are about 5 different battery techs that could pan out before they start manufacturing the fuel cells. They know that. They also know fuel cell tech doesn’t offer a consumer any advantage. However it might offer something for commercial applications especially if the other battery techs don’t pan out.

      1. no comment says:

        if you could recharge a battery as fast as you could refill a gas tank, and get similar range; i don’t think that these companies would be investigating fuel cell technology.

        i think that this is tesla’s motivation for going for a 750kW+ charging station. i think that tesla realizes that charging time is the biggest liability to BEV adoptation (after issues of automobile price have been addressed). if you recall, tesla first tried to address this issue using a battery swap approach, but it just wasn’t practical.

        1. no comment says:

          one point that i forgot to mention is that when you go to high c-rate charging, there will probably be required changes in battery chemistry since such high voltages (1,500v) might wreck the electrodes with the battery chemistry that tesla is currently using.

          1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

            I hope everyone watched the Nova episode last night (on PBS): “Search for the Super Battery”. Unfortunately not much about improving batteries for super-fast charging, but a lot of other improvements I didn’t know about. Such as the “plastic” li-ion battery that completely eliminates the danger of overheating and fire. It’s actually fire retardant!

            If you missed it, then it looks like you can watch it here:

            http://www.pbssocal.org/programs/nova/search-for-the-super-battery/

            (Caveat: That site may be blocked for viewers outside the USA.)

  5. SJC says:

    GM did 100 FC Equinox a while back, that gave them lots of data to work with on the next design.

  6. EV4Life says:

    that is so funny and doomed to failure because GM insist that its up to someone else to build the fueling infrastructure for them.
    Just like their commitment to building a charging network.
    While most of the other manufacturers have helped build out charging options, GM’s contribution is to include a Chargepoint card – whoopee ding.

    1. no comment says:

      whether it is a charging infrastructure for BEVs or hydrogen refueling infrastructure for FCEVs, either is ultimately going to have to be heavily subsidized. it is hard for me to see how you can get an economically viable infrastructure otherwise.

      maybe in your mind, you are just thinking about the cost of electricity, or the cost of hydrogen. but the operator is going to have a considerable capital investment that they are going to have to recover. that means that when you use a public charging station, you are going to have to pay a lot more than just the cost of the electricity. to the extent that that cost is a lot more than the equivalent cost of gasoline, there is little incentive for non EV enthusiasts to adopt electric vehicles of any kind.

      1. floydboy says:

        I’m going to say, without equivocation, that funding a solar or wind farm plus a large bank of storage batteries, is likey several orders of magnitude LESS expensive than an equivalent output hydrogen station! Not to mention, less complexity and ease of integration into the existing infrastructure.

        So these wishful attempts at making them equal, won’t wash when you start talking about taxpayer dollars. When it comes down to a dollar for dollar comparison, people are going to want MORE for LESS, not LESS for MORE!

        1. floydboy says:

          Oops, interpretation is 9/10ths of the law!
          MORE energy for LESS money, not LESS energy for MORE money!

        2. no comment says:

          i didn’t state that the cost per mile of hydrogen was comparable to the cost per mile of electricity; the cost of hydrogen is greater. what i stated was that the cost per mile of hydrogen was comparable to the cost per mile of gasoline.

          1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

            But it’s not competitive with the price of gasoline. It’s about two to three times as much.

            You continue to use the fictitious price of less than $6 per kg, “no comment”. Yes, that was posted on a government website, but it’s still an “alternative fact”; it’s not reality. That’s a price which some “hydrogen economy” shill is touting, and repeating it merely demonstrates that you’re a “fool cell” fanboy.

            1. SJC says:

              H2 is about $10 kg or about $5 gasoline equivalent. It takes less than $1 of natural gas to make one kg of H2, so there is room for price reduction.

            2. no comment says:

              you’re free to cite your own fanboy set of “facts”, but the people who are citing a cost of hydrogen at $5/kg have done a lot more investigating into the issue than you have. consequently, i find their research to be more credible than your opinion.

      2. BenG says:

        Charging infrastructure for BEVs is at least an order of magnitude more affordable than hydrogen refueling. To see this difference in action just look at how Tesla has already built out a nationwide network of fast chargers on their own dime while hydrogen refueling struggles to establish footing in a few small areas with massive government subsidy.

      3. BenG says:

        As EVs become more prevalent, interstate truckstops will start adding fast chargers to cash in on 1) profit from selling electricity and 2) profit from selling goods and services to a captive audience that has to hang around the station for 15-30 minutes.

    2. ModernMarvelFan says:

      “because GM insist that its up to someone else to build the fueling infrastructure for them.”

      So, GM is very consistent on infrastructure, right?

      Gas companies build gas stations.
      Other Electric charging companies build chargers.

      Others build H2 refueling stations..

      GM build cars regardless.

      You might disagree with that approach, but GM is clear and consistent.

      1. EV4Life says:

        all of which guarantees failure. Toyota can’t move the needle even when fully funding H2 stations in California, so what chance will GM & Honda have when they avoid it completely?

        1. ModernMarvelFan says:

          “Toyota can’t move the needle even when fully funding H2 stations in California, ”

          No, Toyota isn’t funding it. It is funded by the State of CA combined with some H2 industry.

          “so what chance will GM & Honda have when they avoid it completely?”

          This just means that GM isn’t all that serious about H2 or in another way, even less serious than its EV program.

  7. Damocles Axe says:

    Honda is doing some major-league foot-dragging on fully electric vehicles!

    I really love my 5-speed Honda Civic, and it will be sad to see them go out of business in ten years because they turned their back on battery technology.

    1. BenG says:

      They’ve been making noise about getting back in the game with plug-ins. To be honest, they haven’t missed much so far and they’ll probably be able to leap into the fray and compete well when they do.

      They have such a great brand name and reputation, and great engineers, now that batteries are coming way down in price they will entering the market before long.

  8. CDAVIS says:

    Too bad headline is not:
    GM And Honda Announced $85M Joint Super Charger Expansion

    1. Mister G says:

      That would be to rational and appropriate lol.

  9. ffbj says:

    When I get a 2020 calendar I will be sure and mark it up with the date of the opening.

  10. The Fixer says:

    Automakers want HFC’s for one reason, and only one reason. They are a part of a complex system, they wear out, and they require maintenance. When batteries wear out, you put in a new pack, that’s it. Maybe some brake pads, a CV joint. BEVs require very little. It has to do with money. The Oil/Gas companies want HFC’s as they want to provide the Hydrogen. It’s not complex. Keeps all the dealers happy with continued maintenance. That’s why they keep pushing them.

    1. Spider-Dan says:

      And yet Tesla still has service centers, and these service centers perform services other than battery swaps.

      This idea that BEVs are somehow magically immune from wear and tear sets unrealistic expectations. Steering, suspension, HVAC, and a host of other components do not become superior simply by virtue of being attached to an electric drivetrain.

  11. CLIVE says:

    GM and Honda have been sleeping together on many fronts for years and years. No surprise to see them joining forces.

  12. pjwood1 says:

    Until recently (cough, election), Mark Reuss was limiting his comments about hydrogen to stationary applications. How times change.

    Isn’t Toyota having to heavily subsidize, or give away, the hydrogen fuel for its CA Mirais? Something well north of $5/gallon?

    1. WadeTyhon says:

      I would say this is just the latest development on old news.

      2016 Article:
      http://www.autonews.com/article/20160314/OEM05/303149972/honda-gm-set-targets-for-2020-fuel-cell-vehicle

      2013 Article:
      http://world.honda.com/news/2013/c130702eng.html

      Honda still wants to build H2 vehicles for consumers, and it’s partnered with GM for the 2020 version of the Clarity.

      GM has for the past few years only developed it for military applications. (Drones, military vehicles). But so far GM hasn’t announced any plans for another consumer level vehicle.

  13. HVACman says:

    By 2020, there will be 1.5 million EVs driving the US highways and probably 10,000 FCDC charging stations. The hydrogen game will be over, with EV technology dancing on its grave. GM is doing this for one reason, and one reason only: Hedging their bet. Because California CARB continues to say that California will have hydrogen-powered vehicles and GM doesn’t want to yield that limited market completely to Toyota/Hyundai. The fact they are pushing so little money into the project shows their lack of enthusiasm. GM has put $Billions into EV R&D. Where are their priorities? Just follow the money.

    1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

      US alone has around 20 mln. trucks/SUVs/cars sold EACH YEAR. And you are assuming these 1.5 mln. cumulative would change anything? It is just funny drop in a bucket even if you will have it materialized. You have yet to show anything in battery technology suitable for trucks before attempting to manufacture and sell something. In best case scenario we may see $100/kWh cell cost by 2020, or $10,000 per 100 kWh vehicle in cost of goods. Add pack cost, rest of the car, and you are couple of times over ICE car/truck price tag before subsidies.

      1. John Beck says:

        Sleeper, you missed HVACman’s point- by 2020 the amount of EV’s on the road and charging infrastructure compared to hydrogen will make the term lopsided a complete understatement. Sure, ICE will still have many millions more on the road than EV’s- and the same lopsided gap from EV’s compared to ICE will be in reverse of EV’s compared to hydrogen.

        While you’re at it, keep plugging your Beta VCR 30 years after we’ve moved onto streaming from the internet…

        1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

          John Beck,

          And you missed history lessons at school.
          Baker Electric and bunch of other battery car companies already had half of the car market for them, charging infrastructure over NYC, battery swap stations, many hours long driving range (as speeds were lower), indestructible NiFe batteries that still work 100 years later, and so on. ICE cars had nothing, no infrastructure, nowhere to buy gasoline, were extremely noisy and stinky compared with today’s, early ones didn’t even had starter. Yet Ford Model T got all the market as they started selling cheaper cars, and infrastructure was built later.

          1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

            The Model T Ford and other gasmobiles won out in the market because they had advantages over the early EVs. They could go farther without needing to be recharged, and they could go faster. Fool cell cars have no such advantage over current gasmobiles, and it’s ridiculous to suggest that they could ever compete with them.

            Furthermore, there is no advantage whatsoever that fool cell cars have over PHEVs. None, nada, zilch, zip. Not gonna happen; not now, not next year, not ever. And of course, PHEVs have a very obvious advantage over fool cell cars: they can be run on cheap electricity from a plug.

            Now, zzzzzzzzzz, why don’t you stop pretending that you’re shilling for fool cell cars because you actually think they’ll be able to compete someday? Every regular reader of InsideEVs’ comments knows that you, and the other pretended fool cell fanboys, are just promoting fool cell cars as a not-exactly-hidden way of generating FUD against Tesla and other makers of EVs.

            1. no comment says:

              in the early ICEVs, you had to manually crank the engine to get the camshaft to a high enough rpm that the engine could run on it’s own. cranking the engine was not only physically strenuous, but was also dangerous because if you didn’t get the timing right for disengaging yourself from the camshaft, you could break your arm…or worse.

              so the benefit of the early electric cars was that you didn’t have to manually crank the engine. what helped the ICEVs was that they came up with an electric/internal combustion hybrid scheme in which an electric starter motor rev-ed up the camshaft until the internal combustion engine could run on its own. this innovation vitiated the electric vehicle.

              to take the analogy to the present, FCEVs could constitute a hydrogen/battery hybrid that could potentially vitiate the BEV.

      2. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

        The problem isn’t that there isn’t a market space for HFCV, it’s advances in lithium batteries mean that PEVs have already taken the easiest parts of the market, and are set to take more of the market in the next few years.

        HFCV is increasingly being pushed towards entirely cost-driven parts of the market and with cost challenges in the powertrain, the infrastructure and the fuel, how will it get a foothold that can help it build economies of scale?

        1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

          FC is simply getting cheaper than batteries. Or put it other way, on par with ICE. Nobody is going to pay tens of thousands extra (retail price) for a luxury to carry 1000 pound of redundant batteries around to achieve 200-300 mile range, when you can get away with fraction of it, and FC range extender, or small hybrid battery and FC instead of engine. You better read some studies on Li Ion battery battery development and where they are expected to settle, and what are theoretical limits.

          1. terminaltrip421 says:

            your argument relies on battery technology remaining where it is now indefinitely, despite the fact that there has to be more research an investment than at any other time in history.

            you’re like the guy who thought aids would be treatable just because it was the worst epidemic of the time. granted, I would have been that guy then but I would not be that guy now.

            think about PCs. it was proably 20 years ago when I had a packard bell that cost over a thousand dollars with windows 95 and a 14k modem. mass markets, investments and research led to the point where an ipad is vastly superior. cheaper, smaller, lighter and more powerful.

            quit being stupid.

  14. Victor says:

    GM said they will not support level 3 supercharging infrastructure. The Chevy Bolt does not come equipped with supercharging capabilities ( it’s an available adoption). For those Bolts capable of accepting a level 3 charger, it takes over an hour and a half to charge to 80% at a 50 kilowatt charger. I kept trying to figure out what General Motors was up to. Now it’s beginning to make a lot of sense.

    1. ModernMarvelFan says:

      “I kept trying to figure out what General Motors was up to. Now it’s beginning to make a lot of sense”

      Really? LOL. $85million on a H2 joint venture and over $200 million on retrofitting the plant for Bolt alone and over $1.2Billion on the Voltec program.

      Yes, let us know what you figured out…

      1. WadeTyhon says:

        Yeah, This conspiracy theory about GM is at best half baked. Weak effort!

        If he is going to actually use the cliche phrase “Now it’s beginning to make a lot of sense” then he should ramble for at least 5 paragraphs.

        Also, there should be a “All the pieces are falling into place” or “Wake up, people!” in there. Ya really gotta sell it when stretching the truth and twisting into knots, y’know?

    2. Kdawg says:

      There are no EV’s that currently accept Level 3 charging. In fact, there are no Level 3 chargers.

    3. WadeTyhon says:

      As Kdawg says, you are confused about the terminology. It does not go “Level 1 AC, Level 2 AC, Level 3 DC”. Also “supercharging” is a term only used for Tesla’s charging system and is not used by other manufacturers.

      I think you are using ‘Level 3’ as a stand in term for DC charging. The Bolt EV and Spark EV have optional CCS DC charging but it is not ‘Level 3’.

      Here is a brief article on the different levels of AC charging and DC “fast charging”.

      http://www.hybridcars.com/what-is-level-3-charging/

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        There are a lot of websites out there telling people the DC fast charging is “Level 3” charging. See, for example, the link below.

        I agree that this is misleading, or at best an oversimplification, since the rate at which DC fast charging supplies power is going to keep increasing over the next several years at least, whereas L1 and L2 charging are at a more or less fixed, unchanging rate.

        However, it’s simply not right to tell someone “there are no Level 3 chargers”. The fact is that there are a lot of people out there using just that terminology.

        May I suggest that it’s better to merely say that using the term “Level 3 charging” is oversimplifying, an outmoded term which we can hope will soon be obsolete, rather than flatly stating it’s wrong.

        * * * * *

        To see how one website is telling people that L3 charging equals DC fast charging: Click on the link below, scroll down to “Difference L1, L2, L3”, and click on the “Learn more” link:

        http://www.evsolutions.com/

        1. WadeTyhon says:

          Interesting, this is the first time I’ve seen it being referred to as such. I found one more article that refers to DC charging as Level 3 and Tesla Supercharging as… Level 4!?

          http://evobsession.com/electric-car-charging-101-types-of-charging-apps-more/

          “They aren’t technically called “level 3” chargers since level 1 and level 2 chargers provide AC electricity to your car via your onboard charging while these faster chargers bypass the onboard charger and provide DC electricity to your battery via a special charging port. But to keep things simple for consumers, we prefer the term “level 3 charging.” Furthermore, we’ve gone and coined Tesla Supercharging as “level 4 charging” since it is much faster than level 3 charging.”

          Does this make it simpler? I feel like it just creates confusion when trying to discuss the technology! And right in the article he says that the term is wrong but uses it anyways. Oh well… 🙂

          1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

            The term “Level 4 charging” for Tesla Supercharging doesn’t seem to have caught on, fortunately. IMHO that would just add to the confusion.

      2. Djoni says:

        The link you provide show that Level 3 charger does in fact exist, although they should be called DC Level 3.
        The SAE charging Configurations and Ratings Terminology show that DC Level 3 (not finalized) as an output of 200-600 V DC (proposed) up to 240 kW (400A).
        Since it doesn’t specified a minimum power as in the AC Level 3, but a voltage gap provide by an off-board charger, actual DCFC fall into this description.
        It’s not finalized, because they don’t know where the maximum power would end up, but it is DC Level 3 for sure.
        Calling those a Level 3 charger seems to fit what they are, don’t they?

        1. WadeTyhon says:

          Oh yes “Level 3” DC chargers *will* exist for CCS but as far as I know there are no actual chargers out in the wild yet. But he was mixing together several terms and I just wanted to help clarify for him.

          The current Bolt EV (and Spark EV) will not be able to take advantage of increased speeds at a higher power charger I don’t think. Definitely they will not be using superchargers anytime soon. Unless GM and Tesla are hiding something from us…. *dreams of the day*

          Personally I only use the L1 and L2 terms for boring, slow old AC charging. I just refer to fast chargers as DCFC (CCS or CHAdeMO). If more clarification is needed, the power level in kW is a good representative term between slower and faster DCFC I think. 🙂

  15. Texas FFE says:

    I used to be a huge hydrogen fan until they started manufacturing vehicles with lithium ion batteries. Now that I have experienced the convenience of home charging I can’t imagine having to go to a filling station to fill up. I still think hydrogen energy storage has it’s applications but I don’t think John Q. Public will want to go with hydrogen after they get a taste of electric home charging.

    1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

      It is quite US centric approach. Around half of the world population don’t even have such option, to charge at home, plus access to cheap & reliable electricity. How are you going to do it if you live on 12th floor in Shanghai and park 1 km from home in random place?

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        As has already been said, zzzzzzzzzzzz: Quit being stupid.

        People who live in countries too poor to have a reliable supply of electricity certainly aren’t going to pay for installing insanely expensive hydrogen fueling stations selling ridiculously expensive hydrogen fuel!

        As for the problem with regulations and “red tape” in China making it hard to charge an EV: That’s a problem which China has created for itself. Either China will solve that self-inflicted problem, or not. Either way, it’s certainly not going to slow down the EV revolution in the rest of the world!

        Now, quit being stupid.

  16. Foo says:

    Fools, the both of them.

  17. Eric Norman says:

    With Tesla selling almost 200,000 EVs with 400,000 Model 3 yet to come and actually on the way, a very powerful workdwude supercharging network and getting very popular around the States, Europe and Asia, particularly the Model X in China! Tesla had outsold MB, BMW, AUDI, JAG and Range Rover all put together in the luxury market and with Tesla’s partnership with Panasonic in the Gigafactory in NV already started and in operation. I don’t see how a USD85m JV making a hydrogen what cell??, some toy that they think is the future, will make the news. Tesla will make Toyota and Honda bankrupt on this one.

    1. BenG says:

      Toyota cleared $20 billion net income in fiscal year 2015. Tesla is no threat to bankrupt them.

  18. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    As the article points out, $85 million isn’t in the ballpark of what would be necessary to manufacture fuel cells for as mass produced “fool cell” car.

    However, it’s quite a bit to be spending on what amounts to a science fair project. I do hope that auto makers will continue to work on fuel cells as a “back burner” project, but they need to figure out how to run them on a practical fuel; a liquid fuel or, at worst, a low-compression gas such as propane.

    Trying to make fueling them with compressed hydrogen in a cost-effective manner is right up there with perpetual motion and “FREE ENERGY!!” No matter how much money you throw at a project, you just can’t violate the laws of physics!

    https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-NzIeTIaxU9g/TZXq9QNAYPI/AAAAAAAAAQo/mqJ2IdgaJvs/s1600/117323.strip.gif

  19. JR says:

    For me this is good news, though the project does not seem so big. I hope it will contribute to brining down the cost and efficiency for this great energy technology.
    Hydrogen is a great energy carrier, and a great way to store energy in basic a big high pressure tank.
    I am not sure it will the technology will be great for cars, for that simple reason that it takes a lot of investing, and driving around and fill up hydrogen tanks around, like gasoline now. The pure EV will simply be more cheap to use in the long run.
    But for utility owners this is a great way to store energy for later use, and for home owner who want to supply there own energy all year around it is great news!

  20. Shawn Marshall says:

    It staggers the imagination that there are so many reactionary opponents of FCEV. Bravo to Honda and GM. Time will tell what they can do. They obviously think they have something. Let the arm chair quarterbacks STFU and watch the Super Bowl.

    1. Mister G says:

      What NFL player drives a Tesla?

    2. Roy_H says:

      I am strongly against FCVs. Not because they can’t be made to work. Not even because I view them as less efficient than BEVs (I don’t believe creating H2, transporting, and converting to electricity will ever be as efficient as charging/discharging a battery). But to the stupendously major and costly task of setting up a H2 distribution network (we already have an electric grid) and that this cost is expected to be paid by the governments around the world for the benefit of a few drivers (most will choose BEVs) and producers (oil companies). If oil companies want to sell H2 they can provide their own distribution network and if I don’t have to pay I have no other objection

    3. zzzzzzzzzz says:

      Funny, they will show Mirai commercial on Super Bowl for California residents.

  21. Get Real says:

    You nailed it Roy_H!

    If Big Oil companies want to sell their Hydrogen then let them pay for the trillions needed for the infrastructure as after all, they are already the richest companies in the World.

    Meanwhile I’m happy to make my own fuel via Solar PV for my Chevy Volt now joined by the excellent Chevy Bolt I just leased until I get My Model 3.

    1. terminaltrip421 says:

      you know I was hoping this might be a thing, that some pre-owned bolts would be on the market when the model 3 is released.

  22. Priusmaniac says:

    85 million $ wasted.
    Honda is losing time and risk being late in BEV.
    GM is wasting taxpayers money which would be better spend on a sedan version of the Bolt.

    1. ModernMarvelFan says:

      “GM is wasting taxpayers money which would be better spend on a sedan version of the Bolt.”

      Stop your rant of bashing GM on this. Who says that GM isn’t working on another version of the Bolt?

      GM has spent way over $200 million on the Bolt program and $1.2Billion on the Voltec program, so it is obvious where the priority is.

      In addition, the so called “tax payer funded” TARP program wanted GM to kill off its electric program and make more pickup trucks so it won’t lose more money. But GM insisted on keeping it for the future. So, calling it a “tax payer” funded project to favor EVs is just your version of the so called “alternative facts” which is nothing more than a “fake comment”…

    2. terminaltrip421 says:

      mary barra said that the bolt’s platform was to be utilized for future models did she not?

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        Yes, she did. Whole lotta people letting their emotions and their wishful thinking do their talking here, ignoring facts quite firmly.

        How about we discuss the reality, instead?

      2. no comment says:

        but more importantly, she stated that they would follow what the customers wanted.

        1. SJC says:

          Of course, giving customers what they want is Marketing 101. Some companies only produce what they THINK people want.

  23. terminaltrip421 says:

    we knew what you meant =)

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Yup. No editing necessary. 🙂

  24. Bill Howland says:

    Fuel Celled vehicles seem to me to be unnecessarily complicated, and, other than huge incentives California gives this technology, I wouldn’t think that H2 would be seriously considered if it only had the same amount of ‘subsidy’ as EV’s get.

    ALthough, if there is the political will to FORCE this to work, I’m sure that H2 vehicles will appear. I’m just not sure how many people will be buying them.

    People seem to like PHEV’s enough since they are quite familiar in operation, and they never leave you stranded, and don’t tax existing infrastructure. I don’t see any amount of money at all spent on infrastructure in my poor neck of the woods, nor in most poorer parts of the states either.

    Since battery prices seem to be slowly decreasing – H2 technologies will have to improve at an even faster rate to win converts over to this type of vehicle.

    It is rather like the fuel Propane, which you could power your whole house, and car with, but it is dangerous if not carefully treated (leaks are dangerous since being heavier than air the gas will pool), and if you check their “Excellent Energy” website as they like to call it, you can have your porch light, and backyard lights run on propane, your furnace, water heater, back yard grille, cooktop and over, clothes dryer, room heater, hot tub heater, etc all run on propane, as well as all your ice’d cars.

    But really, no one does this because it all is not ultimately worth the bother.

    Most rural areas use propane to a greater or lesser extent, but then try to run most of the things mentioned on either electricity or number 2 fuel oil as it is either easier, cheaper, or less of a headache to do, and run the cars/trucks on oil (diesel) or gasoline.

    So it seems H2 is rather like Propane for a home. Yes you CAN make cars that run fine on them, but in the end they are really just too much bother, whereas with cars like a volt or prius prime, you just plug it into the recepticle you already have.

    If people were going to wholesale change into ANYTHING you’d think they’d go for CNG like they do in Italy.