Honda Plans for Plug-in Hydrogen Fuel Cell EV
Honda Motor Co. has announced plans for an all-new hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle to hit the market in 2024.
Honda Motor Co. has announced its plans for a hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) to be available to the market starting in 2024.
Components of a hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle. Image used courtesy of the U.S. Department of Energy
Japanese automakers, like Toyota, Honda, and Nissan, have long taken the lead in producing environmentally-friendly hybrid and electric vehicles.
Green Vehicle Technology
The newest trend in green vehicle technology is the introduction of hydrogen fuel cells. Hydrogen fuel cells are an efficient and emissions-free alternative to typical hybrid electric vehicles, which still have tailpipe emissions.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, FCEVs are fueled with pure hydrogen gas. Energy is stored as hydrogen and then converted to electricity within the fuel cell to power an electric motor, in contrast to charging the motor straight from the battery. FCEVs can be designed with a plug-in feature to charge the battery, though most designs recapture braking energy to store in the battery.
Hydrogen electric vehicle. Image used courtesy of Adobe Stock
The size of the fuel cell and battery will determine the vehicle’s power. FCEVs can be refueled in less than four minutes and have more than a 300-mile driving range. The hydrogen infrastructure is in the early stages of implementation within the U.S.
Growing Hydrogen Infrastructure
Honda has invested over $14 million in California’s hydrogen refueling network to support the growth of hydrogen infrastructure. Currently, Los Angeles leads California counties with 20 light-duty and two heavy-duty open refueling stations. 63 light-duty and six heavy-duty refueling stations are available across California, with 35 light- and heavy-duty stations planned.
Honda’s all-new FCEV will be based on the current CR-V vehicle architecture. The vehicle carries a high-pressure hydrogen tank instead of a conventional gasoline tank, which generates electricity inside fuel cells to power the electric motor, operating without releasing carbon dioxide or other harmful emissions.
2023 Honda CR-V. Image used courtesy of Honda
Adding this vehicle to Honda’s lineup supports their goal to have battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and FCEVs make up 100% of global auto sales by 2040. This model will have a plug-in feature to charge the battery directly, giving drivers more flexibility.
It will be the first time a vehicle combining plug-in technology and FCEV will be produced in North America.
The proposed Honda fuel cell stack is being developed in partnership with General Motors Co. in the U.S. This partnership is expected to lower the cost of the fuel cell stack by a third of what it goes for now, and by 2030 is projected to be comparable to the cost of diesel engines.
Honda intends to expand the use of hydrogen fuel to trucks and construction equipment and power building electricity and outer space. The automaker has installed a 1 MW fuel-cell plant to power the data center at its Torrance, California headquarters and plans to supply JAXA, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, with its new fuel stack.