General Motors (GM) and Honda announced that their 50-50 joint venture on a hydrogen fuel cell facility in Michigan is ready to start commercial production.
In 2017, The two legacy automakers established the Fuel Cell System Manufacturing LLC (FCSM), the first large-scale fuel cell system manufacturing facility. The FCSM is a 70,000-square-foot facility in Brownstown, Michigan.
“This is a historic day for the industry as GM and Honda are the first full fuel cell system manufacturing joint venture to begin volume production of fuel cells for transportation and beyond.
“We begin the process with raw materials for membrane and electrode all the way through completed systems. Ongoing investment and commitment by both companies is driving our success at FCSM. This commitment aligns with our mission of making high quality, durable, and affordable hydrogen fuel cell systems for a wide range of applications and customers,” said FCSM President Suheb Haq.
General Motors and Honda’s partnership on fuel cell system development goes all the way back to 2013. Both companies aimed to improve the performance of fuel cell systems. Specifically, GM and Honda wanted to double the durability of the 2019 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell. The pair also wanted to reduce development and manufacturing costs.
“We integrated the strengths of Honda and GM to create the most capable production system at this joint venture,” said Tetsuo Suzuki, vice president of FCSM. “We brought a mass production mindset with attention to detail and a focus on high quality, and now we are ready to meet the needs of the customers for the future applications of fuel cell technology and the beginning of the hydrogen era.”
General Motors and Honda seek to expand hydrogen fuel cell applications. The US automaker is exploring applications in the rail industry, aircraft, and commercial vehicles. The Japanese automaker is also looking into hydrogen fuel cell uses with commercial vehicles, specifically in the heavy-duty trucking industry. Stationary fuel cell power stations are also a potential application for hydrogen fuel cells.