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    General Motors and Honda Announce A Hydrogen Partnership



    William Maley

    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com

    July 3, 2013

    Hydrogen, the fuel that automakers say will be available within ten years and doesn't, got some big press yesterday. General Motors and Honda announced a new partnership that will see the co-development of a next-generation fuel cell system and hydrogen storage technologies by 2020. The partnership will also look at reducing the cost of shared components that come from this and contribute to building an infrastructure for Hydrogen.

    The two automakers have fuel-cell development programs, but at a limited scale. General Motors launched a fleet of hydrogen-powered Chevrolet Equinoxes back in 2007. The company says the fleet has done close to three million miles. Honda has leased a small number of their FCX and FCX Clarity vehicles.

    Neither automaker said that a car (or cars) would be coming at this time.

    Source: General Motors, Honda

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    Press Release is on Page 2


    GM, Honda to Collaborate on Next-Generation Fuel Cell Technologies

    • Goal is commercially feasible fuel cell and hydrogen storage in 2020 time frame

    2013-07-02

    NEW YORK – General Motors (NYSE: GM) and Honda (NYSE: HMC) announced today a long-term, definitive master agreement to co-develop next-generation fuel cell system and hydrogen storage technologies, aiming for the 2020 time frame. The collaboration expects to succeed by sharing expertise, economies of scale and common sourcing strategies.

    GM and Honda plan to work together with stakeholders to further advance refueling infrastructure, which is critical for the long-term viability and consumer acceptance of fuel cell vehicles.

    GM and Honda are acknowledged leaders in fuel cell technology. According to the Clean Energy Patent Growth Index, GM and Honda rank No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, in total fuel cell patents filed between 2002 and 2012, with more than 1,200 between them.

    "This collaboration builds upon Honda and GM's strengths as leaders in hydrogen fuel cell technology," said Dan Akerson, GM chairman and CEO. "We are convinced this is the best way to develop this important technology, which has the potential to help reduce the dependence on petroleum and establish sustainable mobility."

    Takanobu Ito, president & CEO of Honda Motor Co. Ltd. said: "Among all zero CO2 emission technologies, fuel cell electric vehicles have a definitive advantage with range and refueling time that is as good as conventional gasoline cars. Honda and GM are eager to accelerate the market penetration of this ultimate clean mobility technology, and I am excited to form this collaboration to fuse our leading fuel cell technologies and create an advanced system that will be both more capable and more affordable."

    GM's Project Driveway program, launched in 2007, has accumulated nearly 3 million miles of real-world driving in a fleet of 119 hydrogen-powered vehicles, more than any other automaker.

    Honda began leasing of the Honda FCX in 2002 and has deployed 85 units in the U.S. and Japan, including its successor, the FCX Clarity, which was named the 2009 World Green Car. Honda has delivered these vehicles to the hands of customers in the U.S. and collected valuable data concerning real-world use of fuel cell electric vehicles.

    As already announced, Honda plans to launch the successor of FCX Clarity in Japan and the United States in 2015, and then in Europe. GM will announce its fuel cell production plans at a later date.

    Fuel cell technology addresses many of the major challenges facing automobiles today – petroleum dependency, emissions, efficiency, range and refueling times. Fuel cell vehicles can operate on renewable hydrogen made from sources like wind and biomass. The only emission from fuel cell vehicles is water vapor.

    Additionally, fuel cell vehicles can have up to 400 miles driving range, can be refueled in as little as three minutes, and the propulsion technology can be used on small, medium, and large vehicles.

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    Must be a EPA/GOV requirement as of this time, the cost for what it will take to build and create these vehicles does not justify the investment. CNG is a far more logical next step.

    Just like Bankrupt California, spending millions to build a few select Hydrogen public filling stations and they cannot pay their own debt bills. Some poor decisions being made IMHO.

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    Given historically GM, Honda and Benz were always ahead in this technology, how come Toyota is leap frogging them with a production car for masses?

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    Hydrogen is a Financial Nightmare for those that think this is the logical next step. This is not the right place for GM to spend Money on. There are far more better ways for them to spend R&D dollars than this mess.

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      Make: Honda
      Model: Ridgeline
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      Engine: 3.5L SOHC 24-valve i-VTEC V6
      Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 280 @ 6,000
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      Curb Weight: 4,515 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Lincoln, Alabama
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      Options: N/A
    • By William Maley
      General Motors seems being in a cutting mood as it drives to improve its profit margins and stock price. Last week saw the sale of Opel and Vauxhall to PSA Group and it's only the beginning said GM CEO Mary Barra.
      Automotive News reports that GM is considering reducing investments in North American cars and "select" international markets according to a chart that was shared during a conference call with analysts last week. The chart says these two earned a spot on the chopping block due to low profit potential and weak strength in franchises.
      "There's a little bit more work that we're doing in the international markets. Our overall philosophy is that every country, every market segment has to earn its cost of capital," Barra said on the conference call. 
      Barra and GM President Dan Ammann declined to go into details about these plans.
      GM has already made significant changes in terms of their international operations by ending or reducing operations Australia, Indonesia, Russia, and Thailand. The automaker has also scaled back plans in India. The comments made during the call suggest more cuts could take place here and possibly elsewhere.
      As for 'reducing investments in North American cars', this likely means GM is taking a hard look at various segments in passenger car segment. With consumers trending towards utility vehicles and trucks, sales of passenger cars have been falling precipitously. As of March 1st, dealers had four month's worth of inventory of cars, compared to an 81-day supply for light trucks and less than 60-days for full-size SUVs. GM could walk away from certain segments such as compacts or full-size sedans, or delay investments in certain models.
      These moves will allow GM to funnel money into models that make more money, and returning capital to shareholders.
      "That's an immediate opportunity for us to reward shareholders without changing the risk profile of the company or our ability to manage through a downturn," GM CFO Chuck Stevens said.
      Analysts are mixed on GM's plans.
      "It takes a lot of discipline to shift away from a volume-is-king kind of mentality," she said. "In the end, that's going to make a better GM -- a longer-standing company that's not only more profitable but more relevant," said Rebecca Lindland, a senior analyst with Kelley Blue Book to Automotive News.
      John Murphy, an analyst with Bank of America Merrill Lynch isn't so sure about this plan.
      "It appears that GM's recent decision-making has become much more short-term-focused and, in our opinion, could create challenges for the company in the coming years," Murphy wrote in a report.
      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

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