Honda CEO Discusses Automaker’s Electric Car And Fuel Cell Dominated Future

1 year ago by Mark Kane 71

Honda Clarity Fuel Cell

Honda Clarity Fuel Cell

Honda Clarity Fuel Cell

Honda Clarity Fuel Cell

Takahiro Hachigo, CEO and president of Honda, sat down with Autocar to discuss the future of cars.

Hachigo states that zero-emission vehicles (fuel cell vehicles and all-electric vehicles) are the ultimate goal, while the plug-in hybrids are only the highly needed intermediate step, and will become mainstream until FCVs and BEVs can overcome important technical issues and infrastructure problems.

According to Hachigo’s expectations, by 2030 FCVs/EVs should take some 15% of total Honda car sales, while by 2050 FCVs/EVs will take majority – “(alternative fuel vehicles) will be dominant in the mix of models we build“.

From the interview qw clearly see that Takahiro Hachigo (who previously was R&D boss in Europe) understand the problems with FCVs, as he stated that FCVs need one more big step to go mainstream; the question i now whether this step will come:

“How suitable are today’s FCVs for big-scale manufacturing?

The main component in any hydrogen fuel cell car is the stack and as far as manufacturing technology goes, I think this needs to make one more big step. Without that, it’s difficult to visualise building FCVs at a rate of one car a minute, as we do with petrol cars. So as well as the problems with infrastructure, we have this to overcome.”

How long do you believe that the plug-in hybrid electric vehicle period will last? Two or three model cycles?

This period will be highly dependent on technical progress with fuel cell vehicles, with the development of a [hydrogen] fuelling infrastructure and, of course, the cost of these things. We see the PHEV as a necessary step but not the goal.

Your rival Toyota talks of hydrogen FCVs as it once talked of its Prius hybrid, which now sells in millions. Do you feel the same?

Yes, we hope FCVs will spread around the world as quickly as possible, but to do that they must progress on two fronts — with the way electric power is used to propel cars and in finding an efficient source to generate and distribute the hydrogen.”

source: Autocar

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71 responses to "Honda CEO Discusses Automaker’s Electric Car And Fuel Cell Dominated Future"

  1. G2 says:

    2030??
    Who is putting cash into his pocket to kick serious BEV production so far down the road.

    UNSAT!

    1. beta995 says:

      Fracking Industry.

    2. tosho says:

      Yep, 2030 is pretty lame. By then ICE cars will even be banned in some countries.

      1. Scott Franco says:

        And even while I have all electric cars I will be out protesting government control freaks like you banning all ICE vehicles.

        1. Stimpy says:

          Did you protest smoking bans too? What’s the difference here?

      2. jerryd says:

        By 2030 50% of Hondas will be be or they will be bankrupt.
        Or if they continue their stupid in every way fcv farce and not get with the EV program the economics of EVs will drive them from the business.

    3. Cavaron says:

      Did he study economics anywhere? The jump from about 1% EVs now to 15% in 15 years is extremly linear. Did no one teach him the s-curve?

  2. Get Real says:

    This Honda CEO is acomplete idiot.

    FCEVs for light duty transportation will never make sense and I doubt they will ever penetrate other transportation markets because of the horrendously inefficient physics/economics of H2.

    By 2030 the very serious effects of AGW will be happening snd accelerating and the entire world will be rapidly shifting to RE produced electricity and battery-based EVs and electrified rail systems for ground transport.

    Only for aircraft/maybe shipping would H2 even be a potential solution and even then later generation bio-fuels would probably be much more cost effective.

    Probably the only real economic use case for H2 would be static power-plant type generation of it during periods using excess RE electricity and then store it and use it to smooth out RE variability on the grid. Even then it is likely that their will be more efficient ways to store electricity.

    1. evcarstugatso says:

      He’s Blowing smoke out of his *ss, Up everyone’s *ss….

    2. EVdrive says:

      Get Real, Well said. I tell people these same points all of the time. The best use case for H2 is storing excess and peak power generated from renewable sources. Get to it Honda and Toyota heavy inustrial divisions. Prove the best use case first for H2 with electrical grid storage.

      Haha, still not sure that route makes sense either. Batteries seem superior and less dangerous for backup. We’ll see.

      1. Speculawyer says:

        Batteries are good for overnight. But if you want to store energy for weeks or months, H2 might do the job. Or perhaps some other synthesized gas.

    3. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

      Those quotes say the _total_ opposite to me.

      Reread the quotes.
      There is no _belief_ expressed that HFCV can deliver. In fact, it’s clear to me that he see the huge challenges for HFCV.

      What he _really_ believes is shown by the fact that what was just an HFCV platform is now going to be PHEV and BEV as well.

    4. Terawatt says:

      Global warming is extremely serious stuff. But what’s supposed to happen by 2030??

      The big consequences are LONG term. We’re talking about the next century and quite possibly the next millenium. This in fact is one of the reasons it is such a hard problem – it is very badly suited to human psychology. We’re supposed to make sacrifices today so that someone else can get a benefit a century from now. Humans are more inclined to borrow money to buy stuff they don’t need so they can have it TODAY instead of next month.

      I think it’s important to be clear about the big delays built into the climate mechanisms. If humanity cut its GHG emissions to zero tomorrow, the athmosphere would continue to heat up for at LEAST fifty years. Getting back to pre-industrial CO2 concentration levels would take centuries. The flip side is that if we continue to pollute ever more every year the climate will change about the same in the SHORT term as if we stopped – but the consequences fifty, a hundred and perhaps a thousand years down the road are potentially far more serious.

      1. RexxSee says:

        Don’t you see the ocean rising NOW, the droughts already killing people and living creatures NOW? The more frequent storms, tornadoes, volcanic activity, ice caps melting NOW? The coral reefs decaying? the oceans acidifying? Here where I live we NEVER had snow at this time of the year. Record global temperatures are increasing by each month! You think there is no effects NOW?!?
        What do we have to wait for to stop this madness? A chain reaction in the melting huge permafrost territories? We already lost HALF of the living species in 50 years!?!? Don’t you see the sign?

        What kind of stupid species are we to deny having build a corporative money machine destroying our only life support system?

        Can’t we stop it instead of praising our helplessness ?

        1. jerryd says:

          I’ve watched 500sq miles of FL go under salt water in the last 50yrs personally.
          And the next 50 yrs it is going to take out a lot of homes, buildings, islands. Etc at 3x that rate.

      2. Speculawyer says:

        It is hard to know when effects we’ll see by 2030. We are already seeing effects now. But sea level rise will mean the seas will be a little bit higher then . . . but probably not by much. But it will increase storm surge damage.

        Heat waves, flooding, or drought that wipe out crops could be a danger.

        Heat waves that kill people could be an issue. India just hit a record high of 123 degrees F. Ouch! I would probably pass out from that.

        1. TomArt says:

          Yep – that’s the big short-term message for GW – the water doesn’t need to be up to your door every high tide in order to wash your home away in a storm.

      3. Scott Franco says:

        Pollution in the USA has already fallen, in the USA from 2007 to 2012, by 725 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, equivalent to the total emissions of Germany.

        The majority of that improvement is due to fraccing.

        Which of course drives you eco-lunes up the wall.

  3. beta995 says:

    FCEV is a TOTAL Joke.
    The Plugin solution DESTROYS any Reason or Need for a Hydrogen Infrastructure.

    Honda, EXPAND your FIT EV program. That can be done TOMORROW.

  4. Unasked, and unanswered is why hydrogen? Mainstream-price 200 mile EVs will be on the road next year. Within 10 years, the same size, weight and price battery could provide 300-400 miles of range. The only advantage hydrogen would have is quicker refueling the few times a year you take 500-600 mile trips (300 mile EV travelling 400 miles only needs ~150 mile charge, anout 20 mins, only 10 mins longer than gasoline or H2).

    That is a vanishingly small advantage compared with daily overnight charging (start every day with full fuel).

    And an expensive one when you consider that you have to pay extra for hydrogen all year long.

    Give a clearly communicated choice, I can not imagine very many people paying $2,000 extra per year (or more) in fuel costs to save a few minutes a few times per year.

    The question Honda and Toyota need to answer is “why?”

    1. beta995 says:

      With the Bolt at 200 miles of range, hydrogen becomes even more of a joke. Because these cars have so much range that 99% of trips can be driven on 1 charge from home to destination and back again with no need for a charging network, except for trips that exceed 90-100 miles.

      What’s more convenient, trying to find the non-existant hydrogen infrastructure, or plugging in at home?

      1. philip d says:

        If you could force everyone to drive a 200-300 mile BEV with a Supercharger network for a year, pretty much every single person would agree with you.

        Unfortunately the problem is many people will never be persuaded with words and will only understand through experience.

        1. SparkEV says:

          So true! I would not get sense of EV advantage until actually driving one for few days. If not for low cost lease of SparkEV, I’d still be blind.

          Question is, is there anything redeeming about FCEV that we’re not aware until we actually drive it for few days?

          1. TomArt says:

            My impression is that there wouldn’t be any material difference for everything except refills.

            The motive force is electric, and there will be a modest battery pack plus the fuel cell stack and H2 tanks…all basically as silent as BEVs are now. Fairly low center of gravity, just like BEVs.

            The only difference I can see is if your EV could charge from 0-100% in less than 5 minutes, but only at a station, and no way to charge at home.

    2. RexxSee says:

      Why hydrogen? Easy to answer, an attempt to keep the customers captives of a pump, and a way to keep selling heavily polluting natural gas from the fracking industry.

      The good news is that autonomous solar panels plus storage battery systems will soon cost less than the transport of the grid electricity, even if the production was free!

    3. EVdrive says:

      electric-car-insider.com

      Boom! That’s exactly right. The technology makes no sense at scale when compared to EV’s and FCEV’s stacks are so freaking nasty complicated that they can only build a few thousand a year. Pathetic Toyota and Honda, your pathetic attempt to slow EV adoption is obvious.

    4. JakeY says:

      The easy answer is the Japanese government is giving lots of grants for hydrogen and the Prime Minister is dead set on it being a headlining feature in the Tokyo Olympics. It allows them to say they are preparing for the future, while not doing much in the short term.

      This is similar to what happened during the Bush administration.

      Of course the big automakers in Japan are expected to comply: Toyota, Honda, and even Nissan (although Nissan is only begrudgingly doing so).

    5. Agzand says:

      Do you know what percentage of the world or even US drivers have a designated parking with a charging point? Very low percentage. We can’t install charging points along every street in the city in US or China or India, where most people park overnight. Overnight charging is great when you have access to a charger, but most of the world drivers don’t. So there is a need for quick charging during the day. Of course if you are a Tesla driver you would think everybody has a 2 car attached garage in their home.

      1. Martin Winlow says:

        You are absolutely right about lack of charging infrastructure but absolutely wrong about the impossibility of providing it. Currently, official, low power, EV charging points are very expensive and the cost of installing the supply often more so.

        I don’t honestly believe that the cost could not be brought down to one similar to installing parking meters on marked bays and, realistically, it is this sort of heavily structured EV parking system that will be necessary in every street where people park their cars right across the globe in the future.

        Naturally, there will be a cost to this. I foresee people renting marked bays to keep their precious EV in – with charging facilities – probably inductive to avoid issues with vandalism and unnecessary wear and tear on cables.

        Flat dwellers have an easier job where the organisation of designated bays is, to a large extent, often already in place. Adding a charging facility to every bay would be relatively simple.

        So the notion of free-for-all parking will disappear… as will a huge number of privately owned cars. Why? Because, with the advent of autonomous electric vehicles, the cost of taking a taxi or a bus is going to plummet (~75% of the cost of running a bus is driver and fuel) to the point where busses could be free in inner cities. Why will people who can ill afford a car bother with all the hassle and cost of owning one in this scenario? You get your smartphone out and press a button and 5 minutes later (if that) an autonomous cab is waiting outside your door ready to take you wherever you want to go… or van… or truck.

        1. Scott Franco says:

          Right. The number of people anywhere in the USA who don’t have a parking space provided by their landlord is close to zero. Even if the parking space is shared, there is nothing to prevent the apartment owner installing electrical hookups.

          The only difference is that we believe it will be a natural perk that apartment owners will need to provided to get tenants, whereas the eco-nazis believe everyone has to be forced to provide it.

      2. Chris O says:

        You do have a point that homecharging needs to be an option for EV owners but what are the streetparkers going to do, buy a HFCV at a huge premium? I think that particular demographic mostly buys used cars…Nor is there any good reason for that small demographic of high income streetparkers to prefer HFCVs over regular gasoline cars.

        No matter which way you cut it, it’s going to be a huge challenge to make people pay a premium for a product that really has no upsides and loads of downsides compared to the industry benchmark, which is still gasoline at this point.

        1. jerryd says:

          The power company would be glad to drop a line from a power pole for you at a reasonable price.

      3. tosho says:

        “Do you know what percentage of the world or even US drivers have a designated parking with a charging point? Very low percentage.” – nope, the percentage is not that low. Most of the US live in houses (that all have a garage or at least electricity) There are cities or whole countries where you can’t even buy a car without having a dedicated parking spot for it (Japan for example) The problem with charging at home exists mostly for older denser cities (most are in Europe) But for those places there is a strong trend to get rid of personal cars altogether and switch to car sharing or public transport. And on top of that, a 60kW/h EV battery can easily provide a week’s worth of city driving for most people – especially for the denser cities where dedicated parking spots are a problem.

        1. Agzand says:

          @Tosho: the home ownership in US is 60%. Car ownership is higher. Many older homes and condos do not have a parking garage. This is in US. In China and India it is much lower. US and Japan are exception not the norm.

          1. Scott Franco says:

            So? most apartments have at least a parking lot. There is nothing about EV charging that requires it be covered.

            As for the fiction that there are a lot of apartment dwellers that have to park on the street, most cities in the USA actually don’t allow that, and require the apartment owners to provide space for tenants. Otherwise they would be just placing the burden on the city, since they have to deal with street parking.

            1. sven says:

              “As for the fiction that there are a lot of apartment dwellers that have to park on the street, most cities in the USA actually don’t allow that . . .”

              Have you never visited NYC, Boston, Philadelphia, and their surrounding suburbs, ie: Hoboken, Jersey City, Fort Lee, Yonkers, etc.? There tens of millions, if not a hundred million cars that park on the street overnight in the Northeast.

      4. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

        Yes we can. It’ll just be expensive unless done in a systemic way.

        Living in various places, I’ve seen telephone, cable and natural gas installed. Chargers would just be another new thing installed.

      5. arne-nl says:

        “We can’t install charging points along every street in the city in US or China or India<

        Why not? We have street lighting everywhere. What’s so impossible about chargers?

        1. The cities of Los Angeles and Burbank are already starting to install “curb side charging.”

          In Burbank, they are located near multi tenant dwellings.

          Other utilities are also installing public chargers near multi tenant dwellings, often right in the MTD parking lots.

          NRG eVgo has an MTD program where they finance installations.

          This will be an growing trend. If you park your car, you’ll be able to charge it.

          Any city capable of installing street lights and parking meters is capable of installing public charge infrastructure where it is needed.

          1. Scott Franco says:

            +1

          2. Agzand says:

            Those are a drop in a bucket and expensive. I bet you 10 years from now you still won’t have significant curb side parking in any major city in US. Who knows by then where the FC technology is. Maybe it is cheaper to have a 100 hydrogen stations than installing chargers in every street. I don’t know. But those who question why Toyota and Honda pursue FC vs BEV, I think the answer is profitability. It is not as profitable to make BEVs as ICE cars, they use too much material, which will become more expensive BTW. A FCV can theoretically be made cheaper due to using less material. We just have to wait and see if they can reduce manufacturing cost.

            1. When you look a little further into it and run some spreadsheets, as I have, you’ll see why H2 will not happen. It’s not just about the fuell cell stack or 10,000 psi carbon fiber tanks.

              H2 is a tricky molecule to handle. It’s corrosive, and burns invisibly. At 10,000 psi, there’s another level of danger.

              It simply will not be able to follow the price performance curve of electrical components. They are hard to site and permit.

              EV chargers can be placed almost anywhere. Home, work, private parking, street and public charging.

              That difficulty vs ease of installation and maintenance will drive pricing. There simply isn’t any way around that fundamental reality.

              1. agzand says:

                I don’t know. Among the top 10 companies with largest r&d budget in the world, there are two car companies: VW and Toyota. Both are investing in fuel cell technology. If it was as obvious as it is to you and your spreadsheets I doubt they would have followed on that path.

    6. Scott Franco says:

      The question Honda and Toyota need to answer is “why?”

      Because it ties into the oil industry, since hydogen will be produced by reforming natural gas.

      1. agzand says:

        The same electricity that is used to charge a battery can be used to produce hydrogen. This is definitely not the reason. Electricity doesn’t simply exist in the grid or supercharger.

  5. Kuk says:

    He he hydrogen fuell stations spread with speed of virus around globe. Dont you see? 😀 😀

    ie We want to sell as much ICE engines as we can, than we slowly and sudenly will start selling electric cars, but way earlier than 2030. But sssh dont say anybody!

    For us it means dont buy any other ICE car anymore. Just ride what you have and than buy first reasonable BEV you can. Dont feed dinosaurs anymore. Force them to make BEVs with you wallet.

  6. Kuk says:

    “to discuss the future of cars” ??? Oh blhst, he is just spreading mist. Future of cars is in the Silicon Valley. Good night dinosaurs, start to fossilize 🙂

  7. Kuk says:

    Who want sit his family on 800 bar pressure tank full of hydroden?
    Will hydrogen car lower production of CO2?

    1. Chris O says:

      NREL long term study HFCVs: CO2 emissions 356gr/mile based on onsite NG steam reforming. This compares to 176gr/mile for the Toyota Prius for example.

      Electrolysis with durable generated energy will reduce that number but increase the already uncompetitive cost of hydrogen.

      1. sven says:

        That 356gr/mile CO2 figure is BS. Did you just make it up? In California, by law, a minimum 33% of the hydrogen used as transportation fuel must be made from renewable sources, and currently 46% of hydrogen sold as transportation fuel in California is renewable. Yet, even if 100% of the hydrogen was made from steam reformed natural gas, the well-to-wheels CO2 emissions would still be much less than the same vehicle with an ICE engine running on gasoline.

        Below are the well-to-wheels CO2 emissions of an ICE and FCEV Hyundai Tuscon SUV as calculated by the Union of Concerned Scientists.

        – ICE Tuscon using gasoline: 436 gr/mile
        – FCEV Tuscon using 100% H2 from steam reformed natural gas: 286 gr/mile, 34% lower than ICE Tuscon
        – FCEV Tuscon using 33% renewable H2: 202 gr/mile, 54% lower than ICE Tuscon
        – FCEV Tuscon using 46% renwwable H2: 173 gr/mile, 60% lower than ICE Tuscon

        1. sven says:

          The CO2 calculations by the Union of Concerned Scientists can be found at the link below:

          http://www.ucsusa.org/sites/default/files/attach/2014/10/How-Clean-Are-Hydrogen-Fuel-Cells-Fact-Sheet.pdf

        2. Stan says:

          The fuel cell Tucson is not equivalent to its ICE counterpart. It has a slightly smaller interior and a 0-60 time of about 11.5 seconds versus the 9.8 seconds of the 2 liter ICE version: http://www.zeroto60times.com/vehicle-make/hyundai-0-60-mph-times/

      2. sven says:

        Below is the GREET wheel-to-wells CO2 emissions analysis by the U.S. Department of Energy, Argonne National Lab. It shows that the WTW CO2 emissions of a hydrogen FCV running on H2 from 100% central steam reformed natural gas are about 225 gr/mile, considerable less than the 400 gr/miles of a comparable ICE vehicle.

        https://greet.es.anl.gov/public/images/greet_sample_ghg_emissions.png

        https://greet.es.anl.gov/results

        1. Stan says:

          Julian Cox had an article on CleanTecnica looking at those figures. It seems pretty clear those results weren’t for comparable vehicles: http://cleantechnica.com/2014/06/04/hydrogen-fuel-cell-vehicles-about-not-clean/

  8. Tim says:

    The problem with FC proponents is that they presume EVs won’t progress. They’re progressing fast, much faster than FCVs are.

    2050 would be outrageous. Fortunately, it isn’t true. By 2050 perhaps we won’t even remember Honda.

  9. KUD says:

    If you want me to drive a Foolcell then figgure out how to put a save fueling station in my garage for about $1000. As that was the installed cost for my EVSE about 3 years ago. And the fuel better be free as my electricity is. Love Solar and EV’s.

  10. The Tesla Model 3: is said to have towing capabilities, the limits of which we don’t know, but many cars tow a 1,000 Lbs, so if it can do 1,500 or 2,000 Lbs towing, it will be able to tow a trailer with an extra full capacity battery, or two! Just imagine it being a ‘Tanker’, with an onboard 60 kW (~1.1C to 1.2C battery discharge for single battery), to 120 kW (2 battery’s) fast charging, DC to DC Cable!

    Imagine a 2,000 Lb trailer, with 120 kWh battery pack, that can be towed to a spot, used to charge another car, and then taken to a quick / super charger! AAA / CAA gives a one gallon emergency drop for gas, about 29-40 mikes range for mist cars, imagine a quick booster trailer, that could quickly charge an EV, and put 5-10 kWh of juice in, roadside! Whether towed by an EV, or by a Gas/Diesel truck, it could be another tool to remove ‘getting stranded’fears, if all states had these in their AAA (American Auto Association)/ CAA (Canadian Auto Association) clubs!

    Visible, Fixed, Frequent, and Redundant DC Quick Charging, with correct pricing, begins at 2 DC Charging Stations at each site, so long as there are also 2 higher power L2 charging stations to match, for the Second Part of the ‘Redundant’ aspect! As traffic bulids at the charging station, an ability to expand easily, is ideal; alternative options in lode other close by sites for a duplicate site, within 1 mile, or 1.5 Kms!

    Frequency, is the proximity of both, the Two or more at a minimum DCQC’s per site, as well as the interval in miles/kilometers- on any route/freeway, etc., with ideal at 50% of the target vehicles range at maximum, and ideally at 25% Range Intervals: for 100 mile range vehicles, that means 25 miles; for 200 mile range vehicles, 50 miles would suit best!

    Fixed, and Visible, work together, and relate to High Visibility Signage on site, plus signs leading to site from freeway exits, and ability to add Solar PV Canopies, on site Electrical Storage Buffer to manage grid demand at the load side, while not interfering with charging rates, and, in cases where possible, adding a moderate Wind Turbine to/near the Chargers, both for power, and for Visibility!

    Actual Billboards, along the Roadside, advertising: ‘Fast, Full Service Electric Vehicle Charging, Next Exit!’ (or – ‘Exit 19’, etc.) Are going to be important, not for Current EV Drivers, so much, but for Current Non-EV Drivers, to get them to realize, there are places in public, to charge fast!

    If there were 20 Billboards in each region, pointing to places where 12-20 EV’s could Quick Charge, drivers could get food, use restrooms, check out the news on TV, get a shower, or a room, and billboards listed such features for their respective sights, I think people would start to relax on ICE induced Range Anxiety, and even EV Horror Stories of insufficient, unavailable, restricted, or inoperable EV Charging Stations!

    Cracker Barrel Restaurant chain does some of this, but not all locations are multiples, or even doubles, of DC QC’s, let alone having them all backed up with fast L2 (60 Amps+) AC Charging options, in equal numbers to the # of QC’s.

    It would be great if 10 Full Service Restaurant Franchises could get on board with the terms I mentioned, for each of their sites to add such charging capacity, Nationwide, as part of a new advertising campaign! One Billboard could list more than one site/exit, etc!

    Speaking of which, has anyone thought of doing billboards for advertising businesses that support EV Charging yet? (Before this meantion?)

    1. ricegf says:

      Actually, it’s trivial to use a bidirectional charging cable to transfer energy from one EV to another, as long as the source EV and adapter are designed for it. CHAdeMO is. Given 200 mile range EVs, giving a stranded EV motorist 30 miles of charge to reach the nearest DCFC shouldn’t require a dedicated trailer at all!

  11. Chris O says:

    “plug-in hybrids are only the highly needed intermediate step, and will become mainstream until FCVs and BEVs can overcome important technical issues and infrastructure problems

    Curious that car CEO’s keep repeating that meme despite the fact that the all electric Model S was the best selling plug-in car in the US in 2015 and that Model 3 is shaping up to outsell any PHEV by at least an order of magnitude, if current PHEV sales are any indication.

    Jus hard to justify betting on hydrogen without resorting to an alternative reality I suppose.

    1. arne-nl says:

      Yeah, I was thinking along that lines too. The technical and infrastructure problems of battery cars that he mentions, where are they? The PHEV will barely survive this decade.

      If you can buy an affordable, long range, supercharging EV by 2017 (maybe 2018), then why lug around this heavy, complex, high-maintenance nightmare along while you never actually need it, but might come in handy a few times per year? Which will be the case for most people.

  12. Martin Winlow says:

    This Big Oil lackey has, at least, correctly observed 2 massive issues with FCVs – the impracticality of the stack and absent refuelling infrastructure… but he has missed out 2 equally fatal others, to whit; 1/ the fact that H2 is made from natural gas, so little improvement on the global warming front, there and 2/ it is hopelessly inefficient to use vast quantities of electricity to make H2 when you could just use it directly in an EV and without all the H2 hoopla and horrendous infrastructure costs.

    I seriously doubt these people’s sanity when they prattle on about H2 FCVs. If we had an efficient method of making H2 from sunlight or something then the whole idea might stand a chance but if this tech exists I have not read a single report on it in the last 10 years that I have been very interested in EVs. And using water won’t work either (as in electrolysis) because water is becoming just as scarce a commodity as an honest politican.

    The whole thing is just daft.

    1. arne-nl says:

      “If we had an efficient method of making H2 from sunlight or something”

      There is some promising research in this area (google for ‘artificial leaf’), and as long as there is progress in that area, I will give H2 the benefit of the doubt. But only a tiny bit of benefit. It all seems so illogical and complex to bother with the H2 stuff.

      “And using water won’t work either (as in electrolysis) because water is becoming just as scarce a commodity as an honest politican.”

      God. you’re funny. ROFLMAO.

  13. Ct200h says:

    Where are all the plug in hybrids from Honda and Toyota?
    Honda has 0 and Toyota has 0 currently.

    Makes no sense they each have the components and platforms and expertise. Heck ford even figured it out.

    1. jmac says:

      In response to “Where are all the plug in hybrids from Honda and Toyota?”

      Toyota is still riding the old Prius horse. Just days ago Toyota proudly announced they had just sold hybrid number 9 million.

      Plug-in hybrids may be the wave of the future, but they are also competition for standard hybrids like the Toyota Prius and Honda Civic. Perhaps that’s why Honda and Toyota are basically non-starters when it comes to plug-ins and battery electric cars.

      Toyota and Honda, to a lesser extent, have long dominated the regular hybrid market and they simply don’t want to give up their gravy train.

      Let’s face it, a PHEV like the Volt that gets 90 miles per gallon equivalent trumps a standard hybrid like the Prius that only gets 55 mpg.

  14. Rick Bronson says:

    Everyone knows that Honda is not interested in selling Hybrids, Plugins & Electrics.

    Just to distract people from these vehicles, they keep saying that they will launch FCVs.

    If they are really interested from moving away from combustion engines, I wish they price their upcoming Accord Hybrid in sub 28K range. If they price it at 30K, then many will just move to Fusion Plugin which costs just another 2K more.

    Already China has many EVs with 300 km (190 mile) range and a sub 30K price tag.

    Eventually Honda will be forced to join the Electric bandwagon.

    1. jmac says:

      Eventually Honda will be forced to join the Electric bandwagon.

      I think both Honda Toyota are playing games with the whole FCEV thing. Neither company can be serious about actually making any money with hydrogen cars for at least a decade and even that assūmes a rapid and extensive build out of a hydrogen infrastructure. Bottom line is I don’t see them making any money off the technology for several years or even a decade or more.

      Toyota has an engineering group within the company dedicated just to battery research. Toyota is no doubt busy, even as we speak readying a competitive electric car to enter the market at some point in time.

      Part of Toyota’s strategy is no doubt the California ZEV credits thing, because nobody is making money from Fcev now or will be in the near term future.

      Part of Hondota’s strategy will no doubt be to continue to sell their ICE lineup to India, Africa, S. America, southeast Asia and the third world.

  15. Honda and Toyota may solve the FCV production problem and make a very low cost and reliable fuel cell.
The harder problem to solve is how to make an H2 filling station profitable with only a few thousand FCVs on the road.


    If California installs 100 H2 stations and Honda and Toyota sell 10,000 FCVs, that’s only 100 cars per station. At 4 kg per week per car, that’s 400 kg per week, ~1,600 per month.
Gasoline margin is ~$0.10 per gallon.


    Even if H2 margin was $1.00 per kg, that’s still only $1,600 per month income. Not enough to pay for a $3,000,000 station.


    Even if H2 margin was $10.00 per kg, that’s still only $16,000 per month income. Still not enough to pay principal and interest for a $3,000,000 H2 station, not to mention rent, maintenance and profit.


    There is no way to have cheap retail hydrogen and widespread H2 infrastructure.


    Which explains why H2 is $14.00 in Diamond Bar (LA) and $16.50 at Harris Ranch (and those are subsidized stations).


    What is the likelihood that someone will figure out how to build a hydrogen station for 1/4 to 1/2 the cost of a gasoline station ($1-2m) within the next 20 years?


    How many people are going to want to buy an FCV vs a PHEV or 200 mile BEV if the H2 fuel cost is ~ $7 to $8.25 per gge?


    Even if Honda and Toyota are paying for fuel for the first 3 years, people are going to figure that one out.
$30,000 fuel bill over the life of the FCV car vs less than $5,000 for the PHEV and even less for the BEV.


    Any way you look at it, Hydrogen cars will be a very expensive proposition.

  16. ModernMarvelFan says:

    “I think this needs to make one more big step. Without that, it’s difficult to visualise building FCVs at a rate of one car a minute, as we do with petrol cars.”

    The biggest industry info for EV proponent to digest on.

    ICE despite its so called “complexity” is such a mature technology that you can crank out 1 car per minute… That is why all that so called simple EV power train hasn’t gotten nearly as cheap as this.

    1. TomArt says:

      Nope – nothing to do with manufacturing efficiency – particularly if the battery pack is assembled elsewhere first.

      EV issue is, and has always been, energy density. Cost and manufacturing are secondary issues to the size and number of the battery cells. If energy density was better, then fewer cells would be needed, thus lowering costs and production time.

      ICV have the best energy density, despite the staggering inefficiencies of ICE operation. Manufacturing isn’t much of an issue because making and throwing a bunch of metal parts together isn’t all that difficult, particularly if your society has been doing it for a century at high volume.

  17. floydboy says:

    The old fuel paradigm must be preserved. How many trillions in subsidies from the various governments?
    Yeah, got to keep that gravy train going. Switching to cheaper, more efficient electricity, simply isn’t good for business.

  18. Kuk says:

    Hey Honda sit on your 800 bar hydrogen tank and fly to the Moon and stay there forever! Hydrogen is dumb and blsht distraction.
    Talk is cheap. You even didnt dialed hybrid cars and in 2050 you will not exist anymore because world will be overwhelmed by chinese BEVs.