GM is exploring the development of EVs powered by fuel cell technology through a new partnership with Honda.
Fuel cell technology addresses many of the major challenges facing automobiles today: petroleum dependency, emissions, efficiency, range and refueling times. This technology is an electric vehicle that produces electricity on board rather than storing it in a battery that plugs into the grid. Fuel cell vehicles can operate on hydrogen made from renewable sources such as wind and biomass, and water vapor is the only emission they produce.
Fuel cell technology remains a component of our overall EV strategy, and fuel cell–powered vehicles will play a role over the long term. Fuel cell offers a solution that can scale to vehicles with large payload requirements and operate over longer distances. GM has worked on fuel cells since their inception more than 50 years ago.
For fuel cells to be adopted more broadly, however, lower development and manufacturing costs, as well as improved refueling infrastructure, are required. To address these barriers, GM and Honda announced the creation of Fuel Cell System Manufacturing LLC (FCSM), a 50-50 joint venture to provide both companies with fuel cells for multiple applications in the 2020 timeframe.
FCSM production is based at the same Brownstown, Michigan, facility where GM assembles battery packs for electric vehicles. GM and Honda are pooling their intellectual property, and will each receive their fuel cells from this plant. The venture was recognized by Environmental Leader as a 2017 Project of the Year.
Our latest fuel cell innovation is the Silent Utility Rover Universal Superstructure (SURUS), a four-wheel steer concept vehicle on a heavy-duty truck frame driven by two electric motors. With its capability and flexible architecture, SURUS can be used as a delivery vehicle, truck or even an ambulance—all emissions-free.