Two fuel cell technology heavyweights are combining their efforts in hopes of delivering consumer product by 2020.

GM and Honda have entered an agreement to co-develop hydrogen fuel cell technology they hope will produce consumer-grade product in seven years.

“This collaboration builds upon Honda and GM’s strengths as leaders in hydrogen fuel cell technology,” said Dan Akerson, GM chairman and CEO. “We are convinced this is the best way to develop this important technology, which has the potential to help reduce the dependence on petroleum and establish sustainable mobility.”

Takanobu Ito, president & CEO of Honda Motor Co. Ltd. said: “Among all zero CO2 emission technologies, fuel cell electric vehicles have a definitive advantage with range and refueling time that is as good as conventional gasoline cars. Honda and GM are eager to accelerate the market penetration of this ultimate clean mobility technology and I am excited to form this collaboration to fuse our leading fuel cell technologies and create an advanced system that will be both more capable and more affordable.”

Fuel cell technology does have the potential to knock electrification off the radar, but a delivery network still remains a problem for those of us outside California. Range is not an issue as fuel cell vehicles should be able to go 650km without refueling. Also, a car can be refueled in about three minutes.

While GM holds more fuel cell patents than Honda (they are 1 and 2, respectively), Honda is the only company of the two to produce a consumer vehicle – the FCX Clarity – for public consumption. A new version of the car will be announced in 2015.

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