CHICAGO General Motors Co. and Honda Motor Co. Ltd. have signed an agreement to co-develop fuel cell systems and hydrogen storage technologies, aiming for commercial application around 2020.
GM and Honda also will work with governments and private industry to advance refueling infrastructure.
GM and Honda rank first and second, respectively, in total fuel cell patents filed between 2002 and 2012, with more than 1,200 between them, and have each tested their patents, the two automakers said.
Together, GM and Honda will "create an advanced system that will be both more capable and more affordable," Honda president and chief executive officer Takanobu Ito said.
Fuel cell technology addresses fossil fuel dependency, emissions, efficiency, range and refueling times, the two companies said. Fuel cell vehicles can operate on renewable hydrogen made from sources like biomass, and the only emission from fuel cell vehicles is water vapor.
Fuel cells can be used in small, medium and large vehicles, giving them a range of up to 400 miles and a refueling time of as little as 3 minutes, the automakers said.