Issue: Dec 2005


GM Fuel Cell Partnerships and Alliances



by Rob White

OEMs
Toyota: Advanced vehicle technologies

GM and Toyota, through an April 1999 agreement, are actively testing fuel cell technologies developed individually and in collaboration. They plan to share test results, ultimately selecting “best-of-the-best” ideas. Both companies have agreements with ExxonMobil to speed the development of a clean hydrocarbon fuel for fuel cell vehicles. GM and Toyota agree that a clean gasoline that can be used in fuel cells will be an important bridge to a pure hydrogen infrastructure. The two companies want to create a fuel that can be used in both internal combustion engines and fuel cells.

Suzuki Motor Corp.: Small fuel-celled vehicle development

GM and Suzuki, through an October 2001 agreement, are developing small car applications for fuel cell technology. The collaboration is part of a long-term agreement between the two companies to work cooperatively on future product development programs.

BMW: Hydrogen refueling

GM and the BMW Group will jointly develop refueling devices for liquid hydrogen vehicles, and invite other carmakers and suppliers to join this initiative. The collaborative work will center around setting global standards, establishing specifications for suppliers, and finding the best technical and cost effective solutions. GM and BMW’s goal is to have affordable and compelling hydrogen vehicles for sale by 2010. Storage and handling technology are important keys in achieving this goal.

GM, BMW to Jointly Develop Liquid Hydrogen Refueling Technology

Energy
Shell: Hydrogen infrastructure/refueling

GM and Shell Hydrogen announced in March (2003) that they are combining resources to help make hydrogen fuel cell vehicles a commercially viable reality. The centerpiece of the partnership will be a real-life demonstration of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and fueling infrastructure technology in the Washington, D.C. area. The demonstration will feature the nation’s first hydrogen pump at a Shell retail gas station to support a General Motors Corp. fleet of fuel cell vehicles.

Shell, GM Partner to Make Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles A Reality

ExxonMobil: Fuels research, gasoline processing

ExxonMobil and GM signed an agreement in 1998 to conduct research on hardware and fuel options for next generation vehicles. The collaboration has resulted in several important breakthroughs to speed the development of a gasoline processor that will provide hydrogen for fuel cell vehicles.

BPAmoco: Fuels research

ChevronTexaco: Fuels research, gasoline processing

GM and ChevronTexaco announced in October 2001 a multi-year research collaboration to speed gasoline-fed fuel cell vehicles to the market. ChevronTexaco’s expertise in refinery and chemical processes technology complements GM's fuel processing research capabilities and development programs. The multi-year agreement will help accelerate GM's efforts to offer a gasoline-fed fuel cell vehicle to retail customers. The collaboration also will help ensure that an economically producible gasoline can be used in vehicles with fuel cells or conventional internal combustion engines.

Fuel Cell Technology
QUANTUM Fuel System Technologies Worldwide (NASDAQ: QTWW) (Irvine, Calif.): On-board hydrogen storage and handling systems

Through a transaction announced in June 2001, GM expanded its existing strategic relationship with IMPCO Technologies, Inc. and its wholly owned subsidiary, QUANTUM. In July 2002, IMPCO Technologies, Inc. spun off as QUANTUM and GM acquired a 19.9% equity stake in the new company. With QUANTUM, we are collaborating on improving the range of our fuel cell vehicles through the development of advanced hydrogen storage systems.

A QUANTUM Leap in Hydrogen Storage for GM

General Hydrogen (Vancouver, British Columbia): Hydrogen infrastructure technologies

In June 2001, General Motors and General Hydrogen announced a 25-year collaboration to accelerate the spread of a hydrogen infrastructure, and to speed the introduction of fuel cell vehicles in markets in North America, Europe, Asia and emerging economies.

The strategic alliance focuses on several key areas, including hydrogen storage, fuel cell vehicle refueling, energy services, advanced materials, power electronics and electric power production.

General Hydrogen Chairman Geoffrey Ballard is a world-renowned environmentalist who played a major role in developing fuel cells for commercial applications when he founded Ballard Power Systems in 1979.

Hydrogenics: (NASDAQ: HYGS and Toronto: HYG) (Toronto, Ontario): Fuel cell product development, including back-up power generation

This strategic alliance was formed in October 2001 to accelerate the development of fuel cell technology into global commercial markets. The alliance includes shared intellectual property rights and joint efforts in fuel cell product development, engineering, prototyping, testing, branding and marketing strategies. As part of the agreement, GM acquired more than 11 million shares of Hydrogenics common stock, or approximately 24 percent of Hydrogenics’ outstanding shares. Hydrogenics will issue GM warrants to acquire an additional 2.4 million Hydrogenics common shares, representing an additional 5 percent of outstanding equity.

Giner Electrochemical Systems (Newton, Mass.): Electrolyzers, refueling systems and stationary power technologies

In October 2001, GM and Giner agreed to expand their joint fuel cell development activity to include applications beyond the transportation field, including hydrogen generation for refueling systems and regenerative fuel cell units for stationary power. GM holds a 30 percent share in the company.

The focus of the expanded activity will be high-pressure, high-power electrolyzers. Giner specializes in processes, components, subsystems and complete systems incorporating innovative electrochemical and engineering concepts.

The California Fuel Cell Partnership: collaboration of auto companies, fuel providers, fuel cell technology companies and government agencies that is placing fuel cell electric vehicles on the road in California.

This alliance was formed in 1999. The Partnership is exploring the path to commercializing fuel cell electric vehicles by examining such issues as fuel infrastructure requirements, vehicle and fuel safety, market incentives, and consumer acceptance. The Partnership will increase public awareness of fuel cell vehicle technology and the benefits it can offer through a number of outreach tools, including hands-on exhibits, vehicle demonstrations and school presentations.


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