Only a handful of automakers have chosen to stick to hydrogen fuel cells instead of moving to electric- and battery-powered vehicles. The Honda Clarity made a name for itself but a lack of infrastructure has pushed the Japanese automaker in another direction. Honda’s new partnership puts a new focus on electric vehicles. Unlike other automakers, however, Honda’s vehicles will use both batteries and fuel cells.
Honda has partnered with Hitachi to produce more affordable electric motors. The joint venture is a sign that, while Honda isn’t walking away from hydrogen power, the company is pushing for more alternative fuel sources.
Hitachi has a reputation for building electric motors for vehicles of all shapes and sizes. As federal emissions standards grow tighter, the call for more affordable electric powertrains has been deafening. The Honda-Hitachi partnership aims to lower the cost of mass producing engines.
The partnership will originally launch in Japan manufacturing operations. The venture will eventually expand to operations in North America and China as well. While Hitachi and Honda will work together, Hitachi will continue to produce motors for other automakers while Honda will use in-house motors in some vehicles.