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Honda FCX Demonstrates Cold-Start Capabilities

March 01, 2004 by Jeff Shepard

Honda Motor Corp. (Japan) announced that it has conducted a successful cold-weather demonstration of its FCX fuel cell vehicle equipped with a Honda Fuel Cell Stack by demonstrating the vehicle's ability to start in below-freezing temperatures. Testing was conducted at Honda's test track and on public roads on the northern Japan island of Hokkaido. As a part of the test, the FCX successfully started after being parked outside overnight in temperatures as low as -11 °C. Test drives conducted immediately afterward demonstrated the vehicle's cold weather driving performance.

The Honda FC Stack, which the company plans to make commercially available within the next year, is the first fuel stack to feature below-freezing start capabilities, and the first to utilize a stamped metal separator structure and newly developed electrolyte membranes. The new stack reduces the number of components by almost 50 percent (compared to earlier Honda prototype units), while more than doubling the output density. Use of newly developed aromatic electrolyte membranes improves durability and allows for power generation at temperatures ranging from -20 °C to +95 °C.