While Toyota has decided to take the lead in the sales of fuel cell vehicles, with the Mirai, Honda and GM have joined forces in order to produce their cars with this technology. According to the Japanese news service Asahi Shimbun, the companies will create a factory to built common fuel cell stacks for their vehicles and deliveries should not take longer than 2025 to start.
Fuel cells are a sort of “magic device” that captures the energy released when hydrogen and oxygen atoms react with each other to form water. Its principle is really simple, but the fuel cell stacks uses noble metals as catalysts, what makes them really expensive. Apart from that, they need a continuous supply of hydrogen, a flammable gas that can only be stored in ultra high compression tanks or as a liquid in absurdly low temperatures.
If Honda and GM manage to produce fuel cell stacks at a reasonable price, they will be able to differentiate their vehicles in many ways. The size of the fuel cells, the way the energy it generates is managed and the electric engines that the car uses are just the most important ways to make them behave in very peculiar manners.
While GM is still only studying the technology, with no signs of a real life fuel cell vehicle, Honda is getting closer to offer a car consumers will be really able to buy. The Clarity is the company’s attempt to get there, even if it will be only leased, as the pioneer FCX Clarity. No one is betting in this new technology like Toyota is. As it has bet on hybrids, what has made it the leading company when it relates to hybrid vehicles. Will that be true with fuel cell cars? We’ll discuss that a little further in the future.