General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) and Honda Motor Co., Ltd. (NYSE: HMC) has just announced that they are partnering up to manufacture advanced hydrogen fuel cell systems. This will be used by both companies in their future products.

Here are three fast facts about the GM and Honda fuel cell partnership in Michigan:

1. This joint project has already been in the works for years.

"Over the past three years, engineers from Honda and GM have been working as one team with each company providing know-how from its unique expertise to create a compact and low-cost next-gen fuel cell system," Toshiaki Mikoshiba, Honda's chief operating officer for the North American Region, explained in a press statement. 

The master collaboration agreement was actually first announced back in 2013. Since then, General Motors and Honda have integrated their developments, sharing hydrogen fuel cell intellectual property to order to come up with a more affordable and commercial solution for hydrogen storage and fuel cell systems.

The goal is to work together so that they can reduce the cost of development and utilize common sourcing and economies of scale manufacturing. This will make the production of fuel cells significantly more cost efficient. 

2. Each company is equally invested in making fuel cell systems.

The total investment in the venture is $85 million (approximately P4.2 billion) with both companies making equal investments. Together, they formed Fuel Cell System Manufacturing, LLC. According to GM, the company will operate in its existing battery pack manufacturing facility site located in Brownstown, Michigan, just south of Detroit. 

3. Both companies are fuel cell leaders.

Combined, General Motors and Honda have over 2,200 patents when it comes to fuel cell technology. In fact, the Clean Energy Patent Growth Index puts GM in the first place and Honda in third place when it comes to the total number of fuel cell patents that have been filed from 2002 to 2015.

GM has also recently been demonstrating the fuel cells' capability across a wide range of applications, including air, land and sea. Meanwhile, Honda has started offering its new Clarity Fuel Cell vehicle to the US market back in December 2016 after it was launched last spring in Japan.

Both Honda and General Motors say they expect to start the mass production of its fuel cell system by around 2020. It is expected that this will create around 100 new jobs in the area. Meanwhile, The Detroit News also reports that the new venture will create as much as 70 jobs in Brownstown while also spurring a $48.9 million (approximately P2.4 billion) capital investment in the area. 

What do you think of GM and Honda's fuel cell joint venture? Let us know in the comments section below.

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