General Motors and Honda announced that their FCSM joint venture has begun producing hydrogen fuel cells to be used in “various products.”
The energy source of such elements is compressed hydrogen; water vapor is released during processing. Today, this technology is used in heavy vehicles and mobile generators – allowing us to eliminate traditional fossil fuels. The FCSM (Fuel Cell System Manufacturing) joint venture was founded in 2017 by GM and Honda. The two automakers have also collaborated on the Honda Prologue, Acura ZDX and Cruise Origin electric vehicles.
The FCSM plant with an area of 6,500 m² in Brownstown (USA, Michigan) was built with joint funds from GM and Honda – the fund amounted to 83 million US dollars. The companies call it “the first large joint venture to produce fuel cells“Hydrogen is not very popular in the passenger car segment. Honda was one of the few companies to launch a hydrogen-powered model, the Clarity, but it was discontinued in 2017. The almost complete lack of filling station infrastructure turned out to be a problem. Nowadays As automakers have moved to hydrogen-powered trucks and specialized equipment, gas stations are easier to build for vehicles operating in tight spaces.
The disadvantage of hydrogen is its low energy density per unit volume, which makes storage difficult: high pressure, low temperatures or chemical processes are required. It is important to overcome this problem in light commercial vehicles, which are small and have few fuel storage resources. Another problem is that a significant portion of hydrogen is produced by steam reforming methane, producing carbon dioxide as an output. Methane is an even more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide and is constantly released in all phases from production to end use.