Isuzu Motors and Honda R&D today signed an agreement to undertake joint research on heavy-duty trucks, using fuel cells as the powertrain. (GM and Honda to Make Fuel Cells in Michigan)
In a statement datelined Tokyo, they said: “Today, the automobile industry is facing demand to reduce exhaust gas/carbon emissions from mobility products in order to address the on-going global challenge of reducing humanity’s environmental footprint. Moreover, from the perspective of energy security, the industry is required to take initiatives to promote utilization of renewable energy.”
Isuzu as a commercial vehicle maker has been trying to foster low-carbon fuels and sustainable energy. The Japanese truck giant Isuzu has been researching and developing various powertrains including allegedly “clean diesel” engines, engines for natural gas vehicles (NGVs) and electric vehicle (EV) powertrains. (GM and Isuzu Diesel JV Coming at New Ohio Plant)
Honda has been touting a carbon-free society and, to this end, in addition to hybrid and battery electric vehicles, Honda has been researching and developing fuel cell vehicles (FCVs), that some maintain is the ultimate environmental technology, for more than 30 years.
Press releases are one thing, but practicality is another matter entirely, of course. Unaddressed issues that need fixing to popularize the use of FC and hydrogen energy, include breathtaking cost and infrastructure issues.
Problems such as these are international in scope – far beyond individual companies through industry-wide initiatives. Isuzu wants next-generation powertrains for heavy-duty trucks. Honda is trying to expand application of its FC technologies beyond use for passenger vehicles.
Sharing the same industrial research goals, the two companies reached an agreement to conduct joint research on heavy-duty FC trucks.
Touted are the respective strengths each company has amassed over a long period of time – Isuzu’s strengths in the development of heavy-duty trucks and Honda’s strengths in the development of FC
“Isuzu and Honda will not only realize clean, low-noise, low-vibration heavy-duty trucks customers are waiting for, but also promote expansive discussions by the industry so that the use of FC trucks and hydrogen energy can contribute to the future prosperity of the logistics industry and all other industries in our society and to the early realization of hydrogen society,” both Japanese companies said.