Honda FCEV Raises the Fuel Cell Bar

Honda FCEV ConceptHonda has been an industry leader in developing and deploying fuel cell vehicles for nearly two decades. The Honda FCX was the world’s first production fuel cell vehicle when it was introduced to the U.S. and Japan in December 2002. This was followed by the second generation

FCX Clarity in 2008, the first dedicated production fuel cell vehicle. Honda plans to offer its next-generation fuel cell vehicle in the U.S. and Japan in 2015, followed by Europe.

Honda FCEV Concept

The sleekly-styled Honda FCEV Concept sports an ultra-aerodynamic body unlike anything on the road today. While Honda says its extreme styling may not make it into production, the concept does express a potential styling direction for fuel-cell vehicles in the coming years.

Inside, the Honda FCEV Concept provides ample seating for five thanks to new powertrain packaging efficiencies, which include the world’s first application of a fuel cell powertrain integrated completely within the engine compartment. The fuel-cell stack has an output of over 100 kilowatts with a power density of 3 kilowatts per liter, a 60 percent improvement from previous iterations. The stack size was reduced by a third compared to the FCX Clarity. This new fuel cell technology has the potential to be used in multiple vehicle types in the future.

Honda FCEV Concept

The next generation Honda FCEV is anticipated to deliver a driving range of more than 300 miles, about 60 miles more than the FXC Clarity. Fueling can be handled in about three minutes.

Since the nation’s hydrogen refueling infrastructure remains sparse and is still a major challenge for fuel cell vehicles, Honda has joined with the public-private partnership H2USA to coordinate research and identify cost-effective solutions for delivering affordable, clean hydrogen fuel in the U.S. Honda also entered into a long-term collaborative agreement with General Motors earlier this year to co-develop next-generation fuel-cell systems and hydrogen storage technologies, aiming for the 2020 time frame.

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