A new, reliable and clean fuel system? General Motors and Honda have been jointly developing a Hydrogen Cell System for some years. This new agreement is a solid step on the right direction and could soon make the dream come true. The technology consists essentially of a hybrid engine system which is powered by hydrogen that can achieve similar power, response and autonomy while generating just water vapour emissions.
The two industry giants announced a few days ago the creation of a new joint venture to consolidate the development of the fuel cells and to make it available to the mainstream market. The technology is formally called Fuel Cell System Manufacturing and both companies have committed a total of 85 million dollars between them. Mass manufacturing has been scheduled to start in 2020. This step furthers the collaboration started by Honda and GM in 2013, when engineers from both corporations started working together in the development of the technology.
Toshiaki Mikoshiba, North America’s operations manager for Honda Motor explained: “Over the last three years, engineers from Honda and GM have been working side by side as a single team bringing their own know-how and unique experience in order to design a new generation of compact and affordable hydrogen fuel cell systems. This extraordinary team will lead us to the joint mass production of fuel cells, creating added value for our customers in the vehicles of the future”.
A green alternative
Hydrogen Fuel Cell System technology for hybrid motors is becoming a strong alternative to the clean systems already in the market such as the electric and hybrid engines. It increasingly appears as a very promising option with which to face the big technical and environmental challenges of the future: less oil dependency, cutting down of carbon emissions, achieving similar performance and autonomy of conventional cars and a convenient charging speed.
There are already some hydrogen powered car models in the market such as Honda’s own Clarity Fuel Cell, but these are designed more as test models than for the mass market. Still today the high prices associated with a technology still in its infancy and the virtually non-existent charging stations are definite impediments, but these could be solved in the not too distant future.