Honda has joined up with industry colleagues and become a member of the H2USA partnership dedicated to the development and commercialization of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. The US Department of Energy program was started up last month and includes Toyota, Mercedes, Hyundai, Nissan and other manufacturers, government agencies and suppliers.
H2USA is a public-private partnership focused primarily on advancing the hydrogen fueling infrastructure to make fuel cell electric vehicles more viable for US consumers. The automakers participating in the project are looking into the best ways to encourage adoption of fuel cell electric vehicles, plus solutions to make the hydrogen highway infrastructure more cost effective.
While its sales numbers have never hit the top of the charts, Honda was the first automaker to lease a modern fuel cell electric vehicle – the FCX Clarity – to US retail customers. With a new wave of H2 vehicles scheduled to arrive in the next few years, H2USA will support development of the hydrogen refueling infrastructure and leverage other hydrogen energy sources including natural gas and renewables, Steven Center, American Honda's vice president of environmental business development, said in a company statement.
Honda is one of a group of foreign automakers to become a member, with none of the Detroit 3 yet to join the partnership. General Motors has shown interest in fuel cell electric vehicles through its Chevrolet Equinox fuel cell SUV. Through Project Driveway, participants have put in a lot of miles behind the wheel and shared their experiences with GM's research project.