- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 11, 2005

TOKYO (AFP) — Honda Motor, General Motors and BMW will together develop technologies for hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles, the environmentally friendly cars of the next generation, according to a recent report.

Through the joint venture, the three auto giants aim to standardize fuel-cell technologies in a bid to commercialize the vehicles worldwide, Japan’s top-selling daily, Yomiuri Shimbun, said.

They hope the collaboration will reduce development costs for fuel-cell technologies and also help standardize fuel nozzles and other parts related to a hydrogen supply system, said the daily, which did not identify its sources.

The tie-up is likely to prompt other automakers to form alliances on fuel-cell vehicles, it said.

Honda denied there were any concrete plans but said the company has been working with a consortium grouping GM, BMW and European auto parts makers to develop filling systems for liquid hydrogen.

“Honda Motor is joining in a consortium aimed at developing and standardizing filling systems for liquid hydrogen,” the company said in a statement.

“But this consortium is not aimed at developing a fuel-cell vehicle itself,” it said.

Toyota and GM have been in talks to set up a fuel-cell vehicle joint venture this year but the daily newspaper said last week they had decided to scrap the plan because of a disagreement on technology sharing.

Fuel cells produce electricity through a chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen, leaving water as the only byproduct.

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