General Motors And Honda To Build Joint Fuel Cell Car Factory

FEB 2 2016 BY MARK KANE 93

Honda Clarity Fuel Cell - Fuel-cell Power Train

Honda Clarity Fuel Cell – Fuel-cell Power Train

Honda and General Motors’ partnership and cooperation on hydrogen fuel cells is approaching a new phase, as both parties intend to build a joint fuel cell plant for FCVs.

GM and Honda have been working on fuel cells together since 2013 (and they are also gearing-up for a plug-in hybrid deal).

The Asahi Shimbun states that both parties hope to launch mass-production of fuel cells, but the cars from both brands will be developed independently:

“The auto giants plan to begin mass-production of fuel cells at the new plant in 2025 at the latest, sources said. The companies expect that the plant will reduce production costs of fuel cells. They plan to develop commercial FCV models on their own.

Honda hopes to generate profits from FCVs by mass-marketing commercial models as soon as 2025.”

Other alliances for FCVs are Toyota-BMW and Nissan-Ford-Daimler.

Honda Clarity Fuel Cell

Honda Clarity Fuel Cell

Source: The Asahi Shimbun

Categories: Chevrolet, Honda


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93 Comments on "General Motors And Honda To Build Joint Fuel Cell Car Factory"

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By 2025 I expect FCEV to be dead and buried.

The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.

We certainly hope this galactically stupid, money-wasting boondoggle won’t last another nine years! They’ve wasted many millions of taxpayer dollars already.

You’re going to be very disappointed. I plan on sticking around for a very,very long time.

Yes, I can see a place for FC in energy production for industrial applications..e.g., steel production, building materials production etc..

LOL. The company that invented “RaNgE aNxIeTy” still putting money into the hydrogen hoax. The very company that killed the hydrogen Delusion with the VOLT.

Someone at GM needs to be fired.

I see you are scared to death by me 🙂 Fear leads to anger. Fear is path to the dark side.

Don’t worry I’ll not take your beloved electric toys from you.

@FuelCell & @FCEV I love your responses. I too advocate for fuel cells please let me know how I can follow you on twitter or follow me @respectmyplanet. Your responses are brilliant. It’s the same old battery people that think they have it all figured out and it’s so funny to see your responses. I’m glad there are people that study science out there and also have a sense of humor. Here’s the dead give away on battery evangelicals: people who advocate for battery electric vehicles *hate* fuel cells and spend their whole argument telling you how stupid fuel cells are and what they can’t do or how they cost too much or whatever tired old lines. People who advocate for fuel cells are not afraid of batteries and have no problem with batteries. We constantly demonstrate with real life example how all the BEV rhetoric is non-sense and take those silly arguments away one by one and yet the cries get louder and louder. I have no problem with batteries. I’m not threatened by batteries. I think batteries will play important roles in the future of energy. I think they will find a niche, but to think that batteries… Read more »

Another hint they wish to re-kill the electric car. The petro cartel who controls the car makers sees fool cells as their only hope of survival.

They all know the costs, hazards and inefficiency of the FCV, but they calculate they will make more money with it than with electrics… and scr** health and environment.

You said it very well.

World wide conspiracy man! Time to put on your tin foil hat, just in case oil cartel tries to reprogram your brain.

Lol! The very definition of a successful conspiracy implies that you will never get a proof…
Hunting is conspiracy, team sport is full of conspiracies, war, “strategic” moves from companies, political parties etc… any plant or animal predator use some kind of conspiracy. When you eat all the cookies and put on your litt;le brother’s fault.. We have it in our genes, for survival.

Every cartel is a conspiracy. EVERY big corporation makes every day conspiracies to get market shares and lure people by advertising, marketing and propaganda. The media is used to manipulate us into voting on the “good” side.

Big Oil conspiring to kill EVs ?? Business as usual…

You’re late in the news, globalisation happened 20 years ago, with networks and computers. doh!

you think mega corporations and banks did not take advantage of the computing power to get a edge on everything else?

zzzzzzzzzzzzz, while I agree he is out there at times, care to give another reason to do FCV’s?
I sure can’t as they make no economic or energy sense.
Battery tech in the next 5 yrs will make the range question moot, if it already
So why do you think they are doing FCV’s if not to keep EV’s at bay?

Sorry to burst your bubble but hydrogen cars ARE electric cars. Your EV does not carry around “electricity”. It stores chemical energy in a battery and converts it to electricity as needed. The only difference between a hydrogen fuel cell vs a lithium ion battery is the particular element from Group I of the periodic table that is used to hold the extra electrons. If you are so stuck on lithium technology, you will soon find that future “EV”s don’t even use lithium. They would have moved further down the table to Sodium.

Electric cars are FILLED with electricity.
Gasoline cars are FILLED with gasoline. (Though some are driven by electric motors, their energy comes from gasoline – no one is, nor should they, call an accord hybrid an electric car – it runs on gas and can only be filled with gas)
A hydrogen car is FILLED with hydrogen. Whether it is burned to turn pistons or run through a fuel cell to make electricity, the fact remains that it can only ever be filled with hydrogen. If it had onboard electrolysis and stored waste water so you could plug in and reverse the process, then sure, it could be called an electric car. It is then being refilled using electricity.

Another example is trains. Most these days are diesel engines powering electric motors. No one would ever call these electric trains. They are diesel locomotives. Electric trains run on energy supplied to them in the form of electricity.

By 2020 I expect the will be PFCVs that will get around town on batteries and have 300 mile range for trips.

why they wanted so bad that stupid fuel cell i am wondering ! what is the reason behind that

ISIS needs cheap highly explosive fuel sitting around for easy targets. that’s the only reason I can see.

Exactly. These cars will be perfect there.

“Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout;
But there is no joy in (Michigan) mighty (GM) has struck out.”
(Casey at the Bat)

Meh. I think everyone just keeps their fuel cell programs alive on the back-burner just in case there is some technological breakthrough that makes them more practical.

But if they just continue to flail, I suspect this project will get delayed or cancelled.

There have been some lab breakthroughs in simulating the essential catalytic properties of Platinum in fuel cell stacks, without using such a very expensive, rare earth material. But it’s years out from being available for automotive use. You’re still stuck with the basic issues of hydrogen: It must be created out of something else. This takes energy. It must be highly compressed to be useful in a vehicle, since it’s a very low density energy carrier. Hydrogen drivertains must use 10,000 psi tanks to build up and store sufficient densities to be useful. Not a good idea to carry tanks holding 7 atmospheres of pressure in passenger cars. You must design the drivetrain to be anti-corrosion resistant for any parts that come in direct contact with hydrogen. This is usually expansive, using exotic materials for coatings. Hydrogen embrittles metal it comes in contact with. Making reliability a problem not only for vehicles, but pumping stations as well. Hydrogen is so small, it easily slips between atoms and allows even the best valves to leak. BEVs are far more energy efficient, so why bother with Hydrogen? The Oil Industry (who will provide the hydrogen to pumping stations) wants to continue their… Read more »

expensive, sorry.

Oh, I know all the issues. I’m just explaining why GM still has a fuel cell program despite all those issues.

No one wants to be caught unprepared if suddenly there were a magic new technology to make hydrogen and slash fuel cells costs.

Nonsense! There is vast amounts of hydrogen through out the universe.

Awesome… Can you bring some of it to planet earth and bottle it up for Chevron and BP to sell?

Jupiter can assist.

There are even more electrons in the universe.

Good analogy!
All we have to do is collect them and put them in our EV “tanks”.

And right here on earth, collossal amounts of intense starlight and the means to store it.

Are you trying to sound like an idiot?

Didn’t one of the great thinkers of our time, George W Bush say that?

“Not a good idea to carry tanks holding 7 atmospheres of pressure in passenger cars.”

Oh, 7 atmosphere pressure wouldn’t be so bad. Unfortunately, it’s really 700.


Platinum is a transition metal… why does everything have to be labeled as “rare earth metals” ???( rare earth metals are actually not rare at all )

Did you come here from EV1 times using some time machine? You know, we Delorean got busted by now 🙁 And Mirai fuel cells use just 11 grams of platinum at this age, something like 300 today’s dollars.

The fact that they are partnering together tells me they are not serious about it. They don’t “partner” with each other when it comes to their main cash cows in business, so why partner now. They probably just want to meet the regulations, save money, and try to spin some positive marketing for their company with no serious intentions. Kind of like Toyota and Tesla. They only partnered because it was probably less costly to Toyota than developing their own compliance cars.

But aren’t GM and Honda also partnering on future plug-in hybrids and autonomous vehicle development? It seems they’re serious about future plug-in hybrids and autonomous vehicles.

True, just seems odd that Honda, one of the best engineering companies in the world, would partner on something like plug ins with GM. Maybe benefit from scale and compete with Tesla but I dunno if Honda wanted to do PHEVs and EVs they definitely could and do them extremely well.

I am curious to know the real reason why but I’m pretty sure it is smoke and mirrors to protect their ICE / dealership / parts businesses. ??

Because the accord PHEV, despite being essentially a volt clone in operation, was largely a failure.
Instead of wasting money on what could be another failure, they can just as easily design the body they want and source a drivetrain that is proven to be successful (voltec).


I’ve said this before but being an owner of a Natural Gas Car (3600psi compressed tank) I don’t ever want to own a compressed tank vehicle again. Tanks expire, fills are not always 100%, long lines in certain areas, price gouging (clean energy), etc. I mean they are great cars (clean burning, carpool sticker, used to be low cost of “gas”) but the infrastructure is done being built, the price of CNG is way too expensive compared to oil, mechanics are far and few between for the 10% of parts that need them…

I’m going to drive mine as long as I can in hopes that I can get a Model S used or new model 3 and.


Matches my experience as well.

There is no positive marketing from hydrogen.
There’s no one left who doesn’t know this is a methane “solution”.

So the madness has now spread to GM. Is it contagious?

The Oil Lobby has filthy Contagious Money.

Yes, but is Big Oil funding the auto makers’ development of FCEVs; funding it under the table?

I mean, it would make sense if they were, and I’ve suggested more than once that it might explain what otherwise seems inexplicable behavior on the part of auto manufacturing executives.

At least for Toyota and Honda, you can partially excuse the behavior, because the Japanese government is pushing the “hydrogen highway” pretty hard. But GM has no such motivation; they don’t have a significant car market in Japan.

But I haven’t seen any actual evidence that Big Oil is funding the auto companies’ development and manufacture of “fool cell” cars, and unlike RexxSee, I don’t believe in conspiracy theories without any real evidence.

Lol! The very definition of a successful conspiracy implies that you will never get a proof…
Hunting is conspiracy, team sport is full of conspiracies, We have it in our genes, for survival. Any cartel is a conspiracy. EVERY big corporation makes every day conspiracies to get market shares and lure people by advertising, marketing and propaganda. The media is used to manipulate us into voting on the “good” side.

Big Oil conspiring to kill EVs ?? Business as usual…

GM has been putting money into fuel cell research for many years, since before the EV1 came out. It’s really hard to abandon something you have worked so hard on even if it is obviously now pointless.

For an individual, yes I would agree, but big corporations have no emotions whatsoever. Decisions like this are strategical moves.

GM has been working on research of FCEV since the 60s. In fact, GM had one of the earliest test fleet long before Honda did.

GM was just never fully “believed” or “made” anything real after decades of testing…

“that both parties hope to launch mass-production of fuel cells, but the cars from both brands will be developed independently”

Sounds like it is just for Fuel Cell stacks.

Maybe GM is looking at using it for commercial or industrial applications?

GM has been in the fuel cell business “for real” for a long time. Up until the most recent years, much more so than Toyota and Hyundai.

Just because they have decided not to push for it doesn’t mean it’s not in their lab/”back pocket” just in case.

GM has had a sizeable fleet of fuel cell equinoxes since at least 2006-2007 or so. They had a couple on campus of the university I was at back then, where they have the engineering centre and wind tunnel (where some volt development/testing was also performed, I later learned)

I’m not a fan of fuel-cells, but the only silver lining I can see from this, is that fuel-cell cars still drive on electricity and have batteries. So if they start building a fuel-cell car plant, it wouldn’t be extremely difficult to also set it up for regular plug-ins.

These tanks are only 3600 psi. Imagine the destructive potential of hydrogen tanks (2) at 10,000 psi in a burning vehicle:


Nobody wants to drive a 10,000 psi tank around.

That was a CNG garbage truck in NJ. This last year one blew up the same way in Indianapolis.

This is one small explosion with next to no compression. I guess some students were partially deaf.

GM’s stratagy seems to now be:

“Lets partner with overseas experts in Hydrogen (Honda) and Electronics / Batteries (LG), and incorporate them into our Products.”

Is this because there are no such experts left in Michigan to help GM do this stuff inhouse?

GM has been in FCEV long before Honda…

Since many critics have claimed that since GM “outsourced” or “partnered” with others on such important part of the car, GM must not be serious about them…

There is a very large difference, in money and resources spent, between developing a car, or a powertrain, as a concept, or a prototype, vs. spending orders of magnitude more money and resources putting a car into production.

And yes, GM as well as other auto makers have been doing R&D on fuel cells for decades. That’s certainly reasonable, because you can never predict what area of research will suddenly yield results.

What does not make sense is investing in mass producing “fool cell” cars that can only be powered by wholly impractical hydrogen fuel. Now, if they can figure out how to use a different fuel in them, then it may make sense. But that would be a reason to continue R&D… not a reason to put yet another FCEV car into production, when it’s already been amply demonstrated there is no market for cars powered by hydrogen fuel.

Look, I am not a FCEV fan. I don’t want them in cars and I don’t think hydrogen tanks with 10,000 PSI or its infrastructure network is a good investment. But I think people have often mistaken GM’s long history in it.

“a powertrain, as a concept, or a prototype, vs. spending orders of magnitude more money and resources putting a car into production.”

GM had a large fleet of FCEV cars for a long time and never found them to be “good enough” for public usage.

That is why I think this “partnership” is really GM’s way of hedging bets so it won’t have to have too much “skin” in the game. In a way, it is even less serious than its EV product line.

Also, the joint partnership is about fuel stack production, not cars. Fuel stacks can be used in many other applications as well. With military and commercial transportation applications, I won’t be surprised that GM would just limit to that applications.

Or maybe GM is hedging its “ZEV bets” in case Bolt doesn’t work out.

You make a good argument here, MMF. We’ll have to wait and see whether or not GM actually tries to sell a FCEV to the public.

I don’t know how much of a market there is, or isn’t, for fuel cells outside the EV market. I do remember some years back that Lockheed Martin entered a prototype fuel cell unit in a contest for military backpack-type power generator, but I don’t know if anything similar actually went into production. I also know that it’s been said that a small UUV (Unmanned Underwater Vehicle) might be powered by a fuel cell, but again I don’t know how much demand there is for that. It might be just a few prototypes, or it might be a much larger number.

How is it that GM flatly refuses to fund EV charging, and they are going for Hydrogen??? I wonder whether they will partner to put in a raft of Hydrogen stations instead. Curiouser and curiouser.

“How is it that GM flatly refuses to fund EV charging, and they are going for Hydrogen???”

I found that accusation strange..


GM hasn’t funded DCFC or hydrogen network.


GM launched Volt and is about to launch Bolt. But has no confirmed FCEV launch. It only had a test fleet about 10 years ago.


It invested hundreds of millions in plants for production of battery with LG and plants for building the Volt and Bolt. So far, this is the first known FC stack investment.

So, I don’t know how you can say that GM is more serious with FCEV than EV.

It’s just a shame that GM is throwing good money after bad going down the FCV rabbit-hole with this deal. How many DC quick charging stations could the money they’re wasting on this boondoggle buy instead?

Does DCFC station earn ZEV quota?

After they retired the Cadillac ELR, this is their next reported move? I know those tanks are rock-solid, but the pipes and what-not aren’t. Have we learned nothing from the zeppelin era about Hydrogen safety? I already have my EV, and if the infrastructure collapses completely, I have the know-how to generate electricity and keep my vehicle going, even if it is nothing more sophisticated than a windmill hooked up to a cruddy dynamo. The complexity for this is on par with space travel.

“Have we learned nothing from the zeppelin era about Hydrogen safety?”

Yes, don’t put a coating of incendiary paint made from the components of solid rocket fuel onto a zeppelin’s canvas skin.

Yes, also replace highly flammable gas with inert gas.

Philip, without all that H2 taking the fire up many of those onboard would have never been saved.
Sven is right it was likely the skin that caught fire as made from the same chemicals as solid rocket fuel.
That said H2 FCV because of basic physics can never be cost effective.

So… Tell me if I’ve got this right.

They are getting an even _bigger_ stick with which to beat this dead horse?

Let me guess. Marketing runs the fuel cell division at Honda and GM. Couldn’t possibly be the engineering staff.

I think I would go with wood-gas before I would go with hydrogen 🙂

Does this mean that GM will not go ahead with the Bolt? Or will it take more money from the tax payer to pay for the two projects in parallel and drops one of the in the future?

GM is definitely putting the Bolt into production, there’s no doubt of that.

And as ModernMarvelFan pointed out, just because GM is partnering to build a fuel cell stack factory does not necessarily mean they plan to put a FCEV into production.

Missing from this article is the question of scale. Nobody is making “fool cell” cars in large numbers, not even Toyota, despite the hype. Making a small factory to produce a relatively small number of fuel cell stacks per year may not cost Honda & GM all that much. Contrariwise, GM is investing quite a bit in building the Bolt, notwithstanding the fact that they farmed out the entire EV powertrain to LG Electronics & LG Chem.

Yes, Fuel Cell cars are ultimate compliance cars.

Even the biggest backer Toyota is only producing few thousands of them for the next 3 years!!!

That is way lower than typical compliance BEVs.

Of course, government policies such as Japanese government can potentially move the market slightly. But eventually it has to succeed on its own which I highly doubt.

It’s great news in the not so distant future, would not be the first time that tesla gets to take a factory off of GM’s hands for cheap…


LOL…The problem is GM will go hat in hand to US Congress for another bailout and rejecting a Tesla takeover.

GM and Honda jumping off the cliff together.

May as well invest in a dinosaur breeding program.

Fuel Cell vehicles will never get through the enormous grown of electric cars. And in modern days, with information available to everyone through the internet, very few people get fooled with this attempt to control fuel, power and money.

I think GM should stop supporting this hydrogen fuel cell nonsense and support the electric charging infrastructure!

GM is in the Vehicle/Transportation business and supported by the oil industry.
Developing Electric Infrastructure would put GM in direct competition with the oil industry, instead of being it’s friend. I say that’s why they stay away from charging infrastructure.
The Oil industry will supply charging at their stations but will leave it inadequate and slow as long as possible to prove their propaganda that EV Charging is slow and impractical, when the reality is most EVs are charged at home and commercial charging is only for longer distance driving, therefor the potential is more limited than hydrogen pack technology (poor oil companies) :- )

The shocker for me is GM willing to partner with Honda for FCEV development but won’t partner with Tesla in expanding, supporting and using their Supercharger Network.


Maybe because Tesla is a much bigger “prick” than Honda? LOL. (duck for the Tesla fan flame thrower).

I think most of you keep missing the key concept here.

Partnership on FC, not FCEV.

To partner with Tesla is to give in to Tesla which large corporation won’t do in “saving face”.

Why would Honda partner up with a crappy company like general motors?

Because GM developed the very, very non-crappy Voltec hybrid drivetrain for gasoline-electric cars. No other auto maker has come within light-years of making a PHEV that performs as well.

The proper question isn’t what GM can bring to the table. The question is what Honda can offer that could possibly be worth GM giving away the brass ring of PHEV engineering.

Why hydrogen for transportation is dead on arrival

As much as I bash FCV’s and the whole idea of hydrogen-based energy economy, I don’t fault the auto manufacturers who actually makeEV’s for hedging their bets. Regardless of what the open market and even common sense appears to say, some of their top markets are “regulated” markets – regulated by CARB. And CARB LOVES HYDROGEN. They give 7x more emission credits per FCV than per EV.

Toyota, though, is another story. It appears they are all-in for FCV’s and don’t even have a serious “hedged” bet covering the potential EV market. That is a dangerous move. FCV’s are a long-shot at best. Eventually CARB will wise up on their own or EV-owning taxpayers will force them to.

Insurance rates will be very high for H2 bombs, I meant cars LOL

hydrogen car = more expensive
hydrogen fuel = more expensive
hydrogen infrastructure = more expensive

Now, just why was it we needed hydrogen cars in the first place? I forget……

Well, we need them very much and hurry please, it’s an emergency, according to the oil companies. We need fuel cell cars because of OPEC, Western Oil multinationals, Natural Gas conglomerates like ENRON, and companies that make hydrogen from natural gas like Linde, Air Liquide and Shell Hydrogen.

My apologies. It’s sometimes easy to forget who is behind all this and who stands to benefit the most from the hydrogen economy, and it isn’t Joe Six-pack.

What GM gets from FC partnership will rapidly pay off if Japan goes ‘all in’ on FCEV.

Honda gets voltec to instantly offer a viable Civic HEV.

Humbly deduce that GM is getting shorted here, but no one knows what Honda is paying for the mass-patent usage..

end WAG