GM and Honda Launch Landmark Hydrogen Fuel Cell Manufacturing Venture

GM and Honda Launch Landmark Hydrogen Fuel Cell Manufacturing Venture

In a landmark move for the hydrogen fuel cell industry, GM and Honda have officially commenced commercial production at their joint venture facility, FCSM (Fuel Cell System Manufacturing LLC), marking the beginning of the industry’s first large-scale fuel cell manufacturing collaboration. Located in Brownstown, Michigan, FCSM represents a pioneering effort, having been founded in January 2017 with a joint investment of $85 million. The 70,000-square-foot facility has already generated 80 jobs and is set to produce advanced hydrogen power solutions for a variety of applications across both companies.

FCSM President Suheb Haq heralded the start of production as a historic milestone, emphasizing the venture’s comprehensive approach to fuel cell manufacturing — from processing raw materials to assembling complete systems. “This marks a significant stride towards our goal of delivering high-quality, durable, and cost-effective hydrogen fuel cell systems for diverse applications and customers,” Haq stated.

Tetsuo Suzuki, Vice President of FCSM, highlighted the synergy between Honda and GM’s expertise in creating an efficient production system. “By merging the strengths of both companies, we’ve established a mass production framework that prioritizes quality and is poised to meet future customer demands for fuel cell technology,” Suzuki said.

The collaboration between GM and Honda engineers, which began in 2013, has led to the co-development of a next-generation fuel cell system that not only enhances performance but also doubles the durability of previous models, such as the 2019 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell. Innovations in corrosion-resistant materials and low-temperature operation improvements have been instrumental in achieving this milestone.

A key focus of the partnership has been to reduce the development and manufacturing costs of fuel cell systems through economies of scale, optimized cell design, streamlined auxiliary equipment, common sourcing strategies, and the minimized use of expensive precious metals. As a result, the cost of producing the new fuel cell systems is projected to be two-thirds less than that of the system used in the 2019 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell.

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FCSM has also implemented cutting-edge manufacturing techniques to ensure top-notch quality and enhance productivity. These include novel methods for automating membrane-electrode-assembly production and fuel cell stack assembly.

The integration of GM and Honda’s engineering teams, intellectual property, and expertise at FCSM aims to produce affordable hydrogen fuel cell systems for zero-emissions propulsion and energy management applications. Both companies view hydrogen and fuel cell technology as crucial components in achieving zero-emissions energy and mobility solutions. Further details on GM and Honda’s individual hydrogen business strategies can be found through the provided links, underscoring their shared commitment to advancing the green h2 era.

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