General Motors and Honda have fired up their 50-50 joint venture production facility, FCSM, which the companies said is the first large-scale manufacturing JV building fuel cells.
The Brownstown, Michigan-based FCSM was established in January 2017 using an $85 million investment from GM and Honda, and the companies said the facility has already created 80 jobs. Engineers from both companies have been working on a next-generation fuel cell system since 2013. They have doubled the durability compared to the 2019 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell by using corrosion-resistant materials and by improving low-temperature operation. They also said the fuel cell system will be about one-third less expensive to make.
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"This is a historic day for the industry as GM and Honda are the first full fuel cell system manufacturing joint venture to begin volume production of fuel cells for transportation and beyond," said FCSM president Suheb Haq in a statement. "We begin the process with raw materials for membrane and electrode all the way through completed systems. Ongoing investment and commitment by both companies is driving our success at FCSM. This commitment aligns with our mission of making high quality, durable and affordable hydrogen fuel cell systems for a wide range of applications and customers."
In an effort to improve manufacturing productivity, the FCSM is incorporating several new methods for automating membrane-electrode-assembly production and fuel cell stack assembly.