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Budget electric cars: a key task for manufacturers

?The race among carmakers to develop vehicles powered by fuel cells is heating up. With no direct carbon dioxide emissions, electric automobiles with fuel cells are envisioned as the pre-eminent next-generation eco-car.
When will the world’s major automakers be able to reduce the price of such a vehicle through mass production? Drivers around the world are keenly watching to see which carmaker will be the first to achieve an affordable fuel cell car.

Honda and General Motors have agreed to jointly develop a fuel cell-powered vehicle. The Japanese and US firms hope technical cooperation in such fields as developing the basic system for a fuel cell car will result in a jointly devised system fit for practical use as early as 2020.

The Honda-GM tie-up marks a change in their respective strategies for developing fuel cell electric vehicles. The two corporations have been separately working to develop such automobiles in recent years. Their alliance can be seen as an attempt to reduce the otherwise massive financial burden of developing fuel cell cars, while also completing the development project in a shorter period.

The motive behind their decision is a desire not to fall behind alliances formed by their rivals in developing fuel cell vehicles. Toyota and BMW have signed an accord on joint development. Nissan has also said it will carry out a similar project with Renault, Daimler and Ford. The Toyota-BMW tie-up aims at mass production in 2020, while the latter group hopes to reach a similar goal in 2017.


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