It is now encouraging other manufacturers to join the initiative with the collaborative work aimed at setting global standards, establishing specifications for suppliers and finding the best technical and cost-effective solution.
'We want to accelerate the progress being made on the distribution and on-board storage of liquid hydrogen as the future fuel,' said Dr Lawrence Burns, GM's vice-president of research and development and planning.
Christoph Huss, BMW's head of science and traffic policy, added: 'In the long term, we are expecting a nationwide network of 10,000 hydrogen filling stations in Germany. Even today, however, we have to start working on a standard so that customers will not be confronted with various systems.'
GM and BMW's goal is to have affordable and compelling hydrogen vehicles for sale by 2010 and the companies say they must concentrate on the storage and handling technology to achieve this goal.