General Motors And Honda's Hydrogen-Powered Vehicles
General Motors and Honda have confirmed they will co-create the next generation of hydrogen-powered vehicles by the end of the decade. Joining forces, of course, will enable these motor manufacturers to share expertise and benefit from numerous economies of scale. There are also plans to enhance the hydrogen refuelling infrastructure that must be convenient to use and widely available before motorists embrace this type of transport. And it seems that the partnership has the potential to succeed. Why? Because General Motors has already created several hydrogen vehicles such as the: Electrovan (1966), the HydroGen1 (2001), the AUTOnomy (2002), the Hy-wire (2003), the Sequel (2005) and the Chevrolet Equinox Fuel Cell (2007). Honda has also excelled with its 2007 FCX Clarity that can be leased in the U.S.A. Furthermore - according to the Clean Energy Patent Growth Index - General Motors filed the most fuel cell patents between 2002 and 2012 and Honda filed the second largest number. The two companies therefore filed more than twelve-hundred patents in the ten year period.
General Motor's Chief Discusses Honda Deal
General Motors Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Dan Akerson, said: “this collaboration builds upon Honda and GM’s strengths as leaders in hydrogen fuel cell technology”, and “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”.
How Hydrogen-Powered Vehicles Work
A hydrogen-powered vehicle – much like a traditional alternative – stores its fuel in a tank. This hydrogen is then propelled through a fuel cell that mixes it with oxygen to create the electricity that powers the car's electric motor. In turn, this spins the wheels and fuels secondary systems such as the radio. This set-up has several advantages over today's vehicles. Firstly – unlike a petrol, diesel or hybrid – a hydrogen car only emits water vapour and heat rather than hazardous pollutants. Clearly, this is good news for the planet that some claim is fast running out of fossil fuels. It also eliminates the two major flaws that currently limit the practicality of battery-powered cars: range and refuelling time. A hydrogen vehicle can therefore travel far further and be charged in minutes rather than hours. So, it seems that hydrogen cars might be common in the future – assuming the technology/infrastructure can be produced on-mass for a fair cost.