Isuzu and Honda to conduct joint research on fuel cell-powered heavy-duty trucks

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Isuzu Motors Limited and Honda R&D Co., Ltd., a R&D subsidiary of Honda Motor Co., Ltd., have signed an agreement to undertake joint research on heavy-duty trucks, utilizing fuel cells (FC) as the powertrain.

Isuzu has been researching and developing various powertrains including clean diesel engine, engines for natural gas vehicles (NGVs) and electric vehicle (EV) powertrains, which accommodate a broad range of customer needs and how vehicles are used. In parallel, Honda has been working toward the realization of a carbon-free society and, to this end, in addition to hybrid and battery electric vehicles, Honda has been researching and developing fuel cell vehicles (FCVs), the ultimate environmental technology, for more than 30 years.

To popularize the use of FC and hydrogen energy, issues related to cost and infrastructure need to be tackled not only by individual companies but more expansively through industry-wide initiatives. Against this backdrop, Isuzu has been striving to expand its line-up of next-generation powertrains for heavy-duty trucks, and Honda has been striving to expand application of its FC technologies beyond use for passenger vehicles, which will represent progress toward the realization 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.

Taking advantage of the respective strengths each company has amassed over a long period of time, that is, Isuzu's strengths in the development of heavy-duty trucks and Honda's strengths in the development of FC, the two companies will strive to establish the foundation for basic technologies such as FC powertrain and vehicle control technologies. Moreover, through this joint research, Isuzu and Honda will aim to develop clean, low-noise, low-vibration heavy-duty trucks and promote expansive discussions by the industry so that the use of FC trucks and hydrogen energy can contribute to the early realization of a hydrogen society.

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