Prime Mover Magazine

Isuzu and Honda agree on hydrogen powertrain joint research

Isuzu Australia's parent company in Japan, Isuzu Motors, has announced it will pursue low-carbon and sustainable energy with Honda R&D in a research joint venture on using fuel cells for advanced powertrain technology.

In regard to motorised vehicles, Honda describes hydrogen fuel cells “the ultimate environmental technology” having been researching and developing fuel cell vehicles for the last 30 years.

Isuzu will test Honda’s fuel cell powertrain, which has been designed for passenger cars, in its commercial trucks as part of the two-year deal.

Previously the companies partnered in the early '90s when under an agreement Isuzu made sport utility vehicles for Honda for the North American market. 

Isuzu, whose advantages have long been in diesel engines, has been actively researching and developing various powertains as it looks to promote the use of low-carbon and sustainable energy.

Its recent purchase of UD Trucks from Volvo Group helps it to bolster its resources and expertise in automation and electrification while helping it to accommodate a broader range of customer needs.

Honda released the fuel cell-powered Clarity passenger vehicle in 2016

In a joint media release the companies acknowledged there were issues that needed to be addressed to popularise the use of fuel cell and hydrogen energy including issues related to cost and infrastructure.

"These issues need to be tackled not only by individual companies but more expansively through industry-wide initiatives.

"Against this backdrop, Isuzu was striving to expand its lineup of next-generation powertrains for heavy-duty trucks, and Honda was striving to expand application of its FC technologies beyond use for passenger vehicles, which will represent progress toward the realisation of a hydrogen society.

"Sharing the same technological research goals, the two companies reached an agreement to conduct joint research on heavy duty FC trucks."

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