On January 25, Honda and General Motors announced their joint venture, Fuel Cell System Manufacturing (FCSM), had begun producing hydrogen fuel cells for commercial use at GM’s Brownstown, Michigan plant.
Engineers from GM and Honda began collaborating in 2013 to create the next fuel cell system. In January 2017, the corporations founded FCSM in the Downriver township with a combined investment of $85 million. The plant is expected to create approximately 80 jobs and produce hydrogen power solutions for diverse uses.
Since hydrogen fuel cells can power larger vehicles, like trains and semis, in an emissions-free manner, they are a crucial component of the Detroit’s automaker’s electrification strategy.
“GM sees fuel cells as an enhancement to the technology of lithium-ion batteries. Everyone has a part to play,” according to Charlie Freese, executive director of Hydrotec at GM. “Fuel cells uniquely fill the need of the heaviest, most capable vehicles that carry the largest payloads, the longest distances, and also require fast refueling to make that work.”
In December, GM and Autocar signed a cooperative development agreement to produce vocational cars that utilize GM’s Hydrotec hydrogen fuel cell power cubes. As part of the partnership, Autocar, a manufacturer of specialized vocational trucks, will have access to fuel cell technology that meets EPA regulations and customer requests.
Also in December, GM and Komatsu, a global construction and mining equipment producer, announced plans to collaborate on creating and verifying technology for Komatsu’s upcoming 930E electric drive mining truck.
The automaker also intends to sell fuel cells for construction equipment, stationary power plants, and commercial vehicles. By the middle of the decade, the business expects to sell 2,000 units annually.