Honda has unveiled an all-new fuel-cell vehicle, the Honda FCV Concept.
The all-new FCV production model that will be based on this concept is scheduled to go on sale in Japan by the end of March 2016 and subsequently in the U.S. and Europe.
In addition to the FCV and an external power feeding device, Honda will further promote the application of the Smart Hydrogen Station (SHS) – a packaged hydrogen station unit that adopts Honda’s original high-differential-pressure electrolyser.
In this way, Honda will work toward the forthcoming hydrogen society under three key concepts – ‘generate’, ‘use’ and ‘get connected’ – and continues to pursue a CO2 -free society.
Honda views hydrogen as a high-potential, next-generation energy carrier due to the fact that hydrogen can be generated from various energy sources and is easily transportable and storable.
Based on this view, Honda has been positioning the FCV – which uses electricity generated through the chemical reaction of hydrogen and oxygen as a power source for the motor – as the ultimate environmentally responsible vehicle and taking a proactive approach to the research and development of FCVs since the late 1980s.
In 2002, the Honda FCX became the first fuel cell vehicle in the world to be certified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the California Air Resources Board (CARB). With these certifications, Honda began lease sales of the Honda FCX in Japan and the U.S. In 2003, Honda developed the Honda FC STACK, the world’s first fuel-cell stack able to start at below-freezing temperatures. Then in 2005, Honda became the world’s first to begin lease sales of FCVs to individual customers in the U.S.
In 2008, Honda began lease sales of the Honda FCX Clarity fuel-cell vehicle.
The Honda FCV Concept is a concept car for Honda’s next-generation FCV, a successor model to the FCX Clarity, with which Honda strives to achieve a further improvement in performance and a reduction in cost.
The newly-developed fuel-cell stack installed to this concept car is 33% smaller than the previous fuel-cell stack and yet achieves output of more than 100 kW and output density as high as 3.1 kW/L, improving the overall performance by approximately 60% compared to the previous version of the fuel-cell stack.
Honda’s next-generation FCV will be the world’s first FCV sedan with the entire powertrain, including the downsized fuel-cell stack, consolidated under the bonnet of a saloon-type vehicle. This powertrain layout enables a full cabin package that seats five adults comfortably and also will make it possible to evolve this vehicle into multiple models in the future when the more widespread use of FCVs requires enhanced choices for customers.
The Honda FCV Concept is also equipped with a 70 MPa high-pressure hydrogen storage tank that provides a cruising range of more than 700 km. The tank can be refilled in approximately three minutes, making refuelling as quick and easy as today’s petrol vehicles.
The Honda FCV Concept features an external power feeding function, which underwent a large number of verification tests with the FCX Clarity. When combined with an external power feeding device, this FCV can function as a small-sized mobile power plant that generates and provides electricity to the community in times of disaster or other events.