Honda and GM Hydrogen Fuel Cell Partnership

General Motors & Honda Team up
GM and Honda form an unlikely alliance

When we talk about the future of emission-free driving, we think about electric vehicles. That means vehicles that are simply powered by a battery. The former darling of eco-consciousness, the hydrogen fuel cell, has been pushed into obscurity. But, with the combined might of GM and Honda, it’s coming back.

Hydrogen Fuel Cell

Hydrogen fuel cells combine oxygen and hydrogen to produce electricity, heat, and water. There are no harmful emissions. The main difference between batteries and fuel cells is that fuel cells will not lose their charge over time. All they require is hydrogen fuel.

Handy History

GM was responsible for creating the very first hydrogen fuel cell – and they did it much earlier than you’d think. In 1966, the company debuted a modified GMC Handivan, which they called the Electrovan. Room for six passengers was reduced to two with most of the space being occupied by giant oxygen and hydrogen tanks, and a mess of wires. The Electrovan boasted an impressive driving range of 193km, but was never taken off private property for safety concerns. Something, something Handinburg…

The Electrovan didn’t amount to much, so GM shelved the fuel cell program for 40 years. Now, they’re back in earnest, enlisting help from Honda. The Japanese automaker is the leader in hydrogen technology. Their Clarity sedan is already a viable option for drivers – where fueling infrastructure permits (California). Together, GM and Honda are investing $85 million USD in a venture called Fuel Cell System Manufacturing. At GM’s battery pack plant in Brownstown, Michigan, they’ll be producing the next generation of fuel cell. Together, GM and Honda will also be working with the government (good luck) to improve infrastructure for hydrogen fueling.

 

GMC Handivan

Conclusion

Today, nearly every automaker has at least one electric vehicle. GM alone has the Chevy Bolt and Spark, as well as hybrid vehicles like Cadillac’s CT6. But maybe that’s the point. 100% emission-free roadways will be here soon. And, with the EV marketplace already crowded, it might be wise for automakers to diversify their clean energy lineup.

The GM Technical Centre Expands

On January 30, more than 70 members of the Business Council of Canada convened at the Canadian Technical Centre’s Markham Campus. They were gathered to celebrate the announcement that GM’s research and engineering operations in the city would be broadened. A complement to the automaker’s Oshawa Campus, the Markham facility will focus on a range of software projects.

GM Technical Centre

By expanding the GM Technical Centre in Markham, GM will be focusing their efforts on what they call “advanced mobility innovation.” That includes things like autonomous tech, vehicle dynamics systems, infotainment systems, and connectivity features. As it stands, Markham is home to well over 1,000 technology companies. In addition to being a technological hub, Markham is less than an hour from GM’s headquarters in Oshawa. Consequently, the expansion of the conveniently situated complex should come as no surprise. By the time GM completes it, the 150,000 sq.-ft complex will have a capacity of 700 employees. Already, 180 employees are working on site.

The creation of jobs in the automotive sphere will be welcome news to many Canadians. Considerable anxiety has followed Donald Trump’s promises to bring automotive jobs back to the United States. But, if Carlisle’s words hold true, these jobs are in no danger: “we are excited to be giving Canada’s best and brightest software engineers opportunities to help define some of the most important mobile technology changes in a generation. Canada’s focus on innovation, talent development and partnerships with the academic sector all bode very well for the future.”

Bright Future

If nothing else, GM’s focus on autonomous tech should have drivers excited. GM vehicles already have a suite of exciting driver-assistance features. The 2017 GMC Terrain, for example, has available Forward Collision Alert and Lane Departure Warning, Rear-Cross Traffic Alert, Rear Vision Camera, and Side Blind Zone Alert. Surrounding you with 360 degrees of protection adds a futuristic surreality to driving. Now, with GM assembling hundreds of Canada’s best software developers, you can only imagine what the actual future of driving will feel like.

To experience the current wave of GM innovations, check out the new inventory of Canada’s #1 GM dealer!

 

New GM Inventory
Click to view our new GM Inventory!

Still Canada’s #1 GM Dealer

Capital GMC Buick Cadillac is the #1 GM Dealer in Canada.

Canada’s #1 GM Dealer

In 2017, Capital earned the title of Canada’s #1 GM dealer for the eighth straight year! We were also named DealerRater’s Dealer of the Year for GMC, Buick, and Cadillac Saskatchewan, as well as Dealer of the Year for GMC Canada! We also set the world record for most “dealers” per paragraph!

Accolades:

  • #1 GM Dealer in Canada (New & Used)
  • DealerRater Dealer of the Year – GMC Canada
    • GMC Saskatchewan 
    • Buick Saskatchewan
    • Cadillac Saskatchewan
  • Top 16 in 16 Award
  • GM President’s Award
  • #1 Certified Pre-Owned Retailer in Canada

We’re especially proud of our DealerRater awards because they’re based on the feedback of real customers. Through every step of the car-buying process, no one knows us better than you, our customer! So, there is no one whose feedback we value more. We always welcome feedback and use it to continually improve our service.

First-Class Lineup

It doesn’t hurt that we sell vehicles we believe in. GMC’s lineup has the dependability and performance to satisfy any professional-grade task. Buick and Cadillac, meanwhile, have literally hundreds of years of combined experience in the auto industry. The Buick lineup exudes sophistication, while Cadillac vehicles are the proven kings of the road. Whether you prioritize fuel economy, dependability, speed, or style (or all of the above), you’ll find the right vehicle in our inventory.

Moving forward, we’ll continue working hard to provide our customers with the best possible experience. We’re always proud of our awards, but we place greater value in serving the people of our community to the best of our ability.

The Death of the Driver

Death of the Driver
The new OnStar Go will help drivers make safe and smart decisions while on the road!

Autonomous technology isn’t going away: this much you already know. Lane-keeping systems, blind spot monitoring, and parking assistance systems are becoming standard features on new vehicles. But what’s around the corner? Is autonomous technology signalling the death of the driver?

Current and Future Tech

GM, for example, has recently partnered with  IBM to combine OnStar with the Watson supercomputer (jeopardy, not chess). They’re calling the result OnStar Go, the first “cognitive mobility platform” in the automotive industry. Per GM, OnStar Go can help with things like “avoiding traffic when you’re low on fuel, then activating a fuel pump and paying from the dash; ordering a cup of coffee on the go; or getting news and in-vehicle entertainment tailored to your personality and location”. Personally, the idea of my car prescribing Michael Bublé for an angry Monday commute intrigues me. However, I can imagine some drivers want less distractions, less intrusion, and a purer driving experience. Will they be able to find it in 20 years?

Death of the Driver

Henrik Christensen, from UC San Diego’s Contextual Robotics Institute, has made a startling prediction. He says that “kids born today will never get to drive a car.” By the time they’re old enough, autonomous cars will have overthrown their manual ancestors. Whether or not Christensen’s prediction will hold true even in places like Saskatchewan, I can’t say. Ice, snow, extreme cold, and scattered populations will challenge  autonomous vehicles.  At the very least, by that time, things like the Forward Collision Alert, available across the 2017 GMC lineup, will have become a baseline standard. The driver will have few, if any, responsibilities. When automakers deploy vehicle-to-vehicle communication (V2V), cars will scan the streets in real time to avoid hazards and maintain safe driving distances. This, in turn, will allow roads and highways to become narrower, saving space in a congested world. Some drivers (Will Smith in I, Robot, for one) will always prioritize motoring passion over convenience. But it’s not hard to imagine “manual driving” being outlawed at some point considering autonomous cars will make fewer errors than us.

Drive While You Can

While I can’t answer that, I can say that we’re decades from complete autonomy on our roads. Until driverless vehicles can travel safely from Cupar to Regina in blowing snow, human drivers aren’t going anywhere. And, for now at least, technology is actually making life better for drivers who like to drive. Take a spin in a Cadillac CTS-V– with  Magnetic Ride Control, for example. You’ll won’t be excited for autonomous cars to take over after that kind of thrill. So, enjoy the road before the death of the driver.

Be sure to check out our inventory by clicking below… Will Smith would.

Capital GMC Buick Cadillac Regina

Nine is the New Six

GM 9-Speed Automatic Transmission
The newly engineered transmission brings greater efficiency & smoother performance.

General Motors is set to introduce a nine-speed automatic transmission, the days of the standard six-speed transmission may be numbered. In a partnership with rival Ford, GM is preparing to equip 2017 and 2018 front-drive Chevrolet vehicles with the new transmission. Why is this good news for consumers?

Nine-Speed Automatic Transmission

Per Motor Trend, the “nine-speed comes nicely packaged with all its gears in line with the crankshaft.” A “selectable one-way clutch” will replace two-clutch system of old. This keeps the gearbox small and light. For those of us who aren’t mechanics (me), the improvements translate to a two percent increase in fuel economy. You also get better acceleration and smaller engine vibrations. When can you expect the new transmission?

For buyers, the transmission is already available in the 2017 Chevrolet Malibu. The technology will first show up in in the 2017 Cruze compacts with diesel engines, and the 2018 Equinox. From there, we can expect the nine-speed to replace the six in a wide range of Ford and GM vehicles (10 by the end of 2017).

Bringing Up the Rear

Meanwhile, Ford has focused on a 10-speed automatic transmission for rear-wheel drive vehicles. Car and Driver notes that the tighter ratios between gears “keep the engine closer to peak power during full-throttle acceleration.” These features are important for rear-drive vehicles demanding high performance. That’s why the 10-speed has begun rolling out in the 2017 Ford F-150, Raptor, and the Chevrolet Camaro Z-L1.

Win-Win for Consumers

When rival automakers partner to make vehicles perform better while consuming less fuel, no one loses.