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General Motors and Honda join to promote green cars

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General Motors (GM) and Honda are joining forces in an effort to make greener cars. Specifically, they want to develop cheaper power-making fuel cells and hydrogen tanks ready by 2020.

Bloomberg reports that the two car makers said in a joint statement that the co-operation will include exchanging engineers, joint use of research facilities and shared sourcing of parts and materials.

The aim is to develop a common hydrogen powertrain to reduce the price of the vehicles.

GM and Honda also intend to join together to lobby for more hydrogen fuel stations in the US. At present, most are found in concentrated areas, mainly in California.

Meanwhile as the Herald Sun reports, The Federation of Automotive Products Manufacturers (FAPM) is calling for Fringe Benefits Tax relief on green cars sold here in Australia. 

According to the organisation, such exemptions could help save up to 300,000 jobs across the country.

At present, there are Fringe Benefits Tax exemptions for imported commercial vehicles. The idea is for this to also apply to locally made hybrid and LPG cars.

FAPM chief executive Richard Reilly said, "The Fringe Benefits Tax is not applied to imported vehicles like the Nissan Navara and the Toyota HiLux and they are in the top 10 sales."

"They are all imported and we are just looking at how to get more volume through the (local) system."

When asked about FAPM’s idea, Federal Opposition industry spokeswoman Sophie Mirabella said that the Coalition would look at it.

"We're open to discussions but I'm not going to, on the spot, make a unilateral call," she said.

In the wake of the decision by Ford to cease auto manufacturing in Australia in 2016, the Coalition has claimed that it wants the sector to survive. However, there is speculation that it would cut industry support if elected at the next Federal election. 

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