TOKYO - General Motors and Toyota Motor Corp. are sharing fuel-cell research, and Toyota owns 52 percent of Daihatsu Motor Co. So GM will get a peak at the technology behind the tiny fuel cell used in Daihatsu's Move EV-FC, right?
Daihatsu is an independent company. 'These agreements are between each company,' said Shigeyuki Kawatsu, project manager of Toyota's Fuel Cell System Development Division. That means Daihatsu is not a party to the Toyota-GM pact.
Toyota increasingly will take charge of fuel-cell development across the Toyota Group, however, so Daihatsu's work may be pulled into Toyota's orbit, he said.
The current barriers to GM may be more political than corporate. Daihatsu's fuel cells were developed under the direction of the Osaka National Research Institute, an arm of Japan's Ministry of International Trade and Industry.
The Move EV-FC seats four in a package that is only 133.7 inches long by 58.1 inches wide by 66.7 inches tall, the maximum legal exterior dimensions of a mini-class car in Japan.