There’s still much debate about whether hydrogen really is viable for our cars, but in the meantime the next-generation Honda FCV Concept has made its North American debut at the 2015 Detroit Motor Show. The Honda FCV Concept showcases the exterior and interior styling evolution of Honda’s next zero emissions fuel-cell vehicle, which is due to be launched in Japan in March 2016, followed by the U.S. and Europe.
The new model will feature a cabin with seating for five passengers, a driving range estimated to be in excess of 300 miles, and an anticipated refuelling time of approximately three minutes at a pressure of 70 MPa. Its fuel cell stack, which fits entirely under the bonnet, is 33 percent smaller with a 60 percent increase in power density compared to that in the outgoing Honda FCX Clarity.
The Honda FCV Concept made its world debut in Japan on 17 November 2014, followed by an announcement at the Los Angeles Auto Show that Honda will provide FirstElement Fuel, in the U.S, with $13.8 million in financial assistance to build additional hydrogen refuelling stations throughout the state of California in an effort to support the wider introduction of fuel-cell vehicles.
The original FCX became the first EPA- and CARB-certified fuel-cell vehicle in July 2002, going on to become the world’s first production fuel-cell vehicle when it was introduced to the U.S. and Japan in December 2002. In 2003 the FCX became the first fuel-cell vehicle to start and operate in sub-freezing temperatures, and the first FCV to be leased to an individual customer, in 2005. Honda’s commitment to fuel-cell development was further underlined in 2008 when it became the first manufacturer to build and produce a dedicated fuel-cell vehicle on a production line specifically made for fuel-cell vehicles, and the first to create a fuel-cell vehicle dealer network.