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GM, Honda begin commercial production at hydrogen fuel cell system manufacturing joint venture

GM and Honda have started production at their 50-50 joint venture production facility, FCSM (Fuel Cell System Manufacturing). FCSM is the first large-scale manufacturing joint venture to build fuel cells.

FCSM was established in Brownstown, Michigan, in January 2017 based on a joint investment of $85 million. The 70,000-square-foot facility has already created 80 jobs. The hydrogen power solutions built at FCSM will be used by both companies in various product applications and business ventures.


An employee tests a fuel cell system in module final assembly in at Fuel Cell System Manufacturing LLC, GM and Honda’s fuel cell joint venture in Brownstown, Michigan.

Honda and GM engineers began work in 2013 on the co-development of the next-generation fuel cell system. In addition to advancing fuel cell system performance, GM and Honda collaborated to double durability compared to the 2019 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell by using corrosion-resistant materials and by improving low-temperature operation.

Together, the two companies also focused on lowering development and manufacturing costs by leveraging economies of scale, advancing the cell design, simplifying supporting auxiliary equipment, utilizing common sourcing, and reducing the use of costly precious metals. Through this collaboration, the new fuel cell systems will be one-third less expensive to make when compared to the cost of the fuel cell system in the 2019 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell.

Significant efforts have also been made at FCSM to ensure the highest levels of quality while improving manufacturing productivity. The venture incorporates many first-of-their-kind methods for automating membrane-electrode-assembly production and fuel cell stack assembly, the partners said.

Both the GM and Honda engineering teams and the companies’ relevant intellectual property and expertise have been integrated at FCSM to create affordable, commercially viable hydrogen fuel cell systems to be utilized in a variety of zero-emissions propulsion and energy management applications.

GM and Honda share in the belief that hydrogen and fuel cell technology will play an increasingly important role in meeting a wide variety of zero-emissions energy and mobility needs.



I think standardizing sizes could be beneficial, you aggregate production
and economies of scale, small medium large used for lots of applications.



Just so.
Especially when the challenge is getting a bit of volume to reduce costs.

Toyota argue that batteries will only take around 30% of the world car market for the foreseeable future, largely because in most places in the world the electricity supply is irratic, and there is nowhere cars can conveniently park.

I tend to prefer not going solid on any one solution too early for most things as the real world is often messy and complicated.

At any rate, Toyota in my view certainly have an arguable case.

Hopefully batteries will do better than they think, but it is not the slam dunk many imagine, as most of the world bears little resemblance to southern California, in income,stability of the electric grid, density of population, the ease of providing convenient charging places, and on and on.


If by foreseeable future Toyota means 2024 then they would be right excluding China, Norway, Sweden, France, Germany, California, the Netherlands, and a few others.

EV producers are missing out big time by not being more aggressive about implementing V2G or V2L or whatever else they want to refer to it as. This capability is precisely what is of value in regions with erratic power. A couple power walls cost more than an EV with triple the usable capacity.



Toyota's critique refers primarily to developing countries with poor electrical grids, where most new cars will be bought, and where they have to be cheap.

So why you think it relevant to cite the likes of Norway and the Netherlands is both mysterious and wholly irrelevant to their argument.

Indonesia, Pakistan, Nigeria etc are the sort of countries where their critique is most relevant, and also those where most car growth will happen in the coming decades.

They have to be cheap, they have to have somewhere to plug in, and there has to be electricity available when they do plug in.



BTW, I probably agree with you that Toyota are underestimating take up of battery vehicles.

That is for a very different reason though, that I think that the reliability of the grid can be rapidly increased in countries where it is lousy.

That is because those countries are overwhelmingly in areas with a lot of sun, so solar is going to be cheap, if logistics and regulatory hassles can be dealt with.

And IMO CO2 storage of energy, as Energy Dome is building, is almost certainly able to provide enough storage to overcome daily variation, ie no solar at night, at around half the levelised cost of batteries, and without using scarce materials which can then be used in cars alleviating shortages.

Something else such as iron batteries might do better yet, but compressed CO2 storage provides a sort of bottom line, as they use industry standard components, and have a demonstrator up and running right now, with a full scale battery under construction right now ( 20MW, 200MWh ).

That leaves the non-trivial problem of providing somewhere to plug in the cars, so in my view Toyota's opinion cannot be completely dismissed even then, but that is a lot more soluble if you have cheap energy readily available 24/7


Forgive me. When you wrote “world car market” I thought Toyota meant the world car market instead of emerging markets. As it was stated it seemed to imply Toyota was of the opinion that EVs were likely to plateau around 30%. I believe they will be as wrong about this as they were about their solid state batteries.

I’d be willing to go on record as stating that I’m projecting for the foreseeable future that the majority of new cars will continue to be sold in established new car markets.

I’d venture to guess that in emerging markets such as Indonesia, Pakistan , and Nigeria that e-bikes and electric scooters will out pace new car sales in spite of Toyota’s stated assessment. In these types of locations people will figure out that they can directly charge their batteries with dirt cheap solar panels and that they can make use of that for other purposes.


Gasbag said:

' I thought Toyota meant the world car market instead of emerging markets.'

They do, but most of the growth in sales will happen in those emerging markets, so any projection has to take them into account, instead of being excessively focussed on Europe and NA, or even just California, as is so often the case.

The reason I think Toyota are underestimating battery electric vehicles is that I reckon that they have not taken into account an improved electric grid in those countries.

If I am right that compressed CO2 storage will essentially solve diurnal variation in solar in particular, then intermittency of renewables in most places which are nearer the equator than Europe, or even much of North America, will be fine, and that is where almost all of the emerging markets are.

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