GM, Suzuki to develop fuel-cell vehicle

TOKYO— General Motors and Suzuki Motor Corp. will expand their alliance to develop a fuel-cell-powered small vehicle.

Suzuki said it will spend between 4 billion and 5 billion yen, or between $33.3 million and $41.7 million at current exchange rates, on this project over the next two to three years. The Japanese automaker will also dispatch some of its engineers to GM's German operations. GM declined to say how much it would invest in the joint project.

Although the two companies didn't yet have specifics on development plans, Suzuki's Managing Director Hiroshi Tsuda expects a GM-Suzuki fuel-cell vehicle won't be available for roughly 10 years. GM owns 20 percent of Suzuki.

In a separate development, GM and Giner, Inc., a privately held business in Newton, Mass., have agreed to expand their fuel cell development work to include applications beyond the transportation field, including hydrogen generation for refueling systems and regenerative fuel cell units for stationary power.

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