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