The following story has been updated with the latest developments.
General Motors and Honda plan to team up in an effort to bring zero-emission hydrogen fuel-cell technology to the mass market by the end of the decade, the makers formally announced Tuesday morning.
Both GM and Honda have already begun fielding small test fleets of hydrogen-powered vehicles – as have a number of competitors including Toyota and Mercedes-Benz – but the goal of the new effort is to help solve nagging technical obstacles while driving costs down to mass-market levels. The makers also hope that by making a serious commitment to fuel cell technology they will encourage the energy industry to expand the availability of hydrogen, something essential to encourage consumer acceptance.
“The widespread use of future fuel cell vehicles requires a significant advance in cost reduction… and in the refueling infrastructure that will support them,” Tetsuo Iwamura, president of American Honda Motor Co., said during a joint news conference in New York City. “Two companies can do more together than the simple sum of our individual efforts.”