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General Motors Co. is expanding the scope of its relationship with Japan's Honda Motor Co. Ltd., forging an agreement Thursday to jointly develop battery cells and modules as both automaker move toward plans for all-electric vehicles.

GM and Honda have agreed to collaborate based on GM's next-generation battery system. Honda will then source battery modules from GM.

“This new, multiyear agreement with Honda further demonstrates General Motors’ capability to innovate toward a profitable electric portfolio,” GM's product development chief Mark Reuss said in a statement. “GM’s decades of electrification experience and strategic EV investments, alongside Honda’s commitment to advancing mobility, will result in better solutions for our customers and progress on our zero emissions vision.”

The companies have been working together on fuel cell technology since 2013, a partnership that was strengthened last year when GM and Honda equally split $85 million in investment to create Fuel Cell System Manufacturing LLC — the auto industry’s first joint venture for fuel-cell manufacturing -- at GM’s battery pack assembly plant in Brownstown Township.

“In addition to our ongoing joint development and production of fuel cells, this battery component collaboration will enable us to take a new step toward the realization of a sustainable society,” Takashi Sekiguchi, Honda's chief officer for automobile operations, said in the statement.

GM and Honda say they are working toward an advanced hydrogen fuel cell system to debut in 2020.

nnaughton@detroitnews.com

@noranaughton

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