Daimler, GM Invest in Fuel Cell Projects

fuel cells and gm

by | Oct 3, 2013

fuel cells and gmAutomakers Daimler and General Motors are investing in two separate fuel cell projects aimed at developing technology and building out infrastructure for fuel-cell electric cars.

Daimler said it will join five oil and gas companies to invest about 350 million euros ($500 million) on a network of hydrogen filling stations for fuel cell vehicles in Germany over the next 10 years. Under the partnership, the current network of 15 filling stations in Germany’s public hydrogen infrastructure will be expanded to 400 hydrogen filling stations by 2023.

Meanwhile, GM and the US Army Tank Automotive Research, Development & Engineering Center are expanding a collaboration to develop hydrogen fuel cell technology. GM and TARDEC have agreed to jointly test hydrogen fuel cell-relation materials and designs to evaluate their performance and durability before assembling them into full-scale fuel cell propulsion systems.

The joint project will continue for up to five years.

This is the second fuel-cell related announcement GM has made this year. In July, GM and Honda announced a long-term agreement to co-develop next-generation fuel cell system and hydrogen storage technologies. The companies also plan to work together on refueling infrastructure.

GM ranks No. 1 in total fuel cell patents filed between 2002 and 2012, according Clean Energy Patent Growth Index. The company is building a fuel cell development laboratory in Pontaic, Mich., where the majority of the company’s fuel cell development work will take place, the company said.

Other automakers are investing in fuel cell infrastructure or rolling out hydrogen fuel-cell cars. Toyota will begin selling its fuel-cell sedan in the US next year. Hyundai and Kia have said they will offer a fuel cell vehicle in 2015.

Additionally, Ford, Nissan and Daimler signed an agreement earlier this year to develop affordable fuel cell electric vehicles that the automakers hope to have on the road by 2017.

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