General Motors said today that it will expand its partnership with the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research and Development Engineering Center to determine future applications of fuel cell technology.
The agreement will enable GM and TARDEC to "jointly test new hydrogen fuel cell-related materials and designs … before assembling them into full scale fuel cell propulsion systems," the automaker said today in a press release.
The fuel cell laboratories are about 20 miles apart.
TARDEC opened a fuel cell laboratory April 2012 in the Ground System Power and Energy Laboratory building in suburban Detroit. The Army currently is evaluating GM fuel cell vehicles in Hawaii for potential military applications ranging from ground vehicles to mobile generators.
Fuel cell technology speaks to the two major challenges of automobiles today: Petroleum use and carbon dioxide emissions. Fuel cell vehicles can operate on renewable hydrogen. Only water vapor emits from the tailpipe.
GM said the project is expected to continue for up to five years.
This is the second fuel cell-related announcement GM has made this year. In July, GM and Honda collaborated to develop a common system for fuel cell vehicles with the goal of getting them into showrooms by 2020.
GM is building a laboratory in suburban Detroit, where the majority of the company's fuel cell development work will take place, the automaker said.