Honda Comments On Limited Fuel Cell Market, Notes A Battery Electric Pilot A Possibility

7 months ago by Eric Loveday 52

Honda Pilot

Honda has made it known that it has no intention of offering a long-range electric Clarity, but that doesn’t mean the automaker will totally ignore the market for long-range BEVs.

The Honda Clarity, currently only offered as a fuel cell vehicle, will also be offered as a plug-in electric vehicle in 2018

Though intent on offering a Clarity BEV with just 80 miles of electric range, Honda says there’s a chance the automaker could do a long-range BEV in something such as the Honda Pilot SUV.

Honda’s previous Clarity comment on packaging, price, etc. was called into question by us when Honda’s Steve Carter, vice president of environmental business development, made these rather absurd remarks:

A pillar of the Honda brand is affordability, and if Honda came out with some obscenely priced long-range electric car, what does that do for the brand?”

These people want a battery car and they know what they do and where they go.”

“They’re very rational and they don’t need to lug around or charge up a 300-mile-range battery because that costs them electricity.”

Center has since sort of backed away from this and he now says that for Clarity, a long-range BEV doesn’t make sense, but in a more expensive and larger package such as the Pilot, it might just work.

But this is the extent of Carter’s comment on the matter:

“In the future we might have a Pilot with a V-6, a Pilot with a fuel-cell or a Pilot with a battery-electric powertrain. But it would not be branded Clarity.”

Not all that convincing…but better than nothing.

Oh, but we do appreciate Carter’s comment of FCEVs. Carter says that Honda only expects to lease some 50-6o Clarity fuel cell cars per month due to the limited refueling Infrastructure. Quoting Carter:

“You can’t flood the market – the fueling infrastructure can’t handle it.”

Because 70 a month would apparently flood the market.

Source: Ward’s Auto

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52 responses to "Honda Comments On Limited Fuel Cell Market, Notes A Battery Electric Pilot A Possibility"

  1. Rob Stark says:

    Why not “flood the market”?

    It would create demand for H2 stations.

    Because then Honda and the H2 stations would lose a lot more money.

    1. mx says:

      Because hydrogen is a joke, and only on the market for CARB credits.

      Because if rolled out nationally the “hydrogen” will come from methane. And not only have ZERO effect on global warming, it would allow more methane into the atmosphere making global warming worse.

      Because it’s more expensive, esp. when your pilot projects are show projects, that do make hydrogen from cracking water, and you have Excess water in California?

      1. CVVH says:

        Not that I am for or against fuel cells, but California does border up against the ocean. That’s a lot of water.

        1. Orphancarguy says:

          Ummm…perhaps knowing something about the energy cost (extremely high) of splitting H2O using electricity would be helpful. Also, the technical requirements for successfully splitting water on an industrial scale. Using sea water or even fresh tap water requires much treatment first, like removing the salt and any other materials. The home hobbyist can split tap water with electricity, but not on a commercial scale dependably . Reverse osmosis, then distillation would be a good start. Obviously, those stages to get pure H2O would add substantially to the cost before electrolysis…which is why it isn’t done and heat reforming of natural gas is done instead to get hydrogen on a commercial basis.

          1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

            “energy cost (extremely high) of splitting H2O using electricity would be helpful”

            Do you know it yourself? Electrolizer energy requirement is 50-70 kWh/kg. Average wind PPA last year in the US was close to 2 cnt/kWh. So you may come with $1.00-$1.40/kg for energy cost. No extreme poetry is needed when you have numbers.

            CAPEX may add another $1-$3 depending on scale. See Figure 28 in more detailed analysis:
            http://newbusfuel.eu/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/NewBusFuel_D4.3_Guidance-document-for-large-scale-hydrogen-refuelling_final.pdf

            1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

              Fool cell fanboys like zzzzzzzzzz always like to talk about limiting or reducing the energy cost for generating hydrogen.

              And they want everyone to ignore the much greater cumulative costs for compressing, transporting, storing, re-compressing, and dispensing highly compressed hydrogen fuel.

              But zzzzzzzzz isn’t here to engage in honest discussion of how hydrogen fuel is too expensive and too hard to work with to ever become an everyday fuel. He’s just here to shill for Big Oil; that’s the reason he keeps repeating the same utterly discredited talking points, no matter how many times the facts and the science are pointed out to him.

              The only reason Big Oil promotes the “hydrogen economy” is because they know hydrogen can never possibly compete with petroleum as a practical, everyday fuel.

              1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

                Pu-pu:
                “honest discussion” – I always like to have honest and intelligent discussion instead of fanboy BS you enjoy. But you are clearly incapable of reading and comprehending what other people write, instead just dumping the same psycho nonsense and personal attacks again and again, as you would expect from a cultie.

                All these secret “compression losses” and whatever is well known and accounted, studies have done on it. Why don’t you just read what is already written by much more competent authors and researchers than you? I even posted some links for people who can read.

      2. Tony says:

        Manufacturers can get CARB credits from EVs. If that was all they wanted, that is what they would do.

  2. cmina says:

    I’ll just link this here:

    … and something extra:

  3. Andrew says:

    Is this an April Fools article?

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Yes, and the joke is on Honda. 😉

      Seriously, the source here is an article from Wards Auto dated March 27.

    2. SJC says:

      They are going to have to take weight off the Pilot if they are going EV.

      1. But…But… It is their version of Auto-Pilot!
        :^)

        1. SJC says:

          The engine Pilot is heavy, EVs want to be light.

    3. mx says:

      Ah, I should’a checked the date.

  4. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    “…they don’t need to lug around or charge up a 300-mile-range battery because that costs them electricity.”

    Right, in the same way that nobody would fill up a gasmobile’s tank with 300 miles’ worth of gasoline, and lug that weight around, because it would cost them gasoline.

    Oh, wait…

    “You can’t flood the market [with Clarity fool cell cars] – the fueling infrastructure can’t handle it.”

    …and the reason the infrastructure can’t handle it is…? C’mon, you know the answer: Because compressed hydrogen is far too expensive and difficult to work with to ever be used as a practical fuel for everyday transportation!

    1. ffbj says:

      -Yeah, you can come up with a sorry excuse for anything. Like the EC came up with a sorry excuse for a President.

  5. William says:

    Last Night, I was at the Honda dealership in my area, which is 1 of 6 that has a Clarity for Lease in So. Cal. I asked them to move one of the two Ice cars blocking the Two Fast Charge (Chargepoint) stations, and I got the Helpful Honda EV employee remark ” well, maybe next time I won’t be so nice and move a car” so you can Quick charge your Leaf. The Sales Manager was oblivious about their blocking scheme, used by the guys on the sales lot. Oh, I was really surprised that he “didn’t know”!

    I would say Honda will be the most reluctant, of the Old Legacy ICE car makers, to play along with anything resembling a non-compliance EV, or anything Tesla-Esque!

  6. ffbj says:

    Another deserter from the fuel cell fiasco:
    “Mercedes CEO Dieter Zetsche announced that fuel cells will no longer be part of the company’s long-term focus.”

  7. Iletric says:

    Steve Center needs to retire. He has his head in the sand and has no idea what’s going on. And he’s most likely never sat inside an EV, let alone drive it.
    Pilot EV? Lord!

  8. Four Electrics says:

    Meanwhile, the list of operating, proposed and under construction hydrogen stations in California has grown to 61.

    1. Nice! But is that list a bit like our Ontario, Canada, list of EVCO APPROVED Locations, that was supposed to have 200 DC QC’s and 300 L2’s installed and Operating by last light, after about a year and $20 Million in Funding?

      Reality, List was Shrunk, and even then, maybe 1/3rd to at most, 1/2 are in! Company receiving biggest portion of the contract installed nothing or nearly nothing, but got their $$!

      So, how many H2 stations are operating today, how many cars a day can they fill, and how many City to City routes are viable in a Clarity HFC Vehicle?

      1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

        It is actually 66 stations including the last 16 awarded GFO-15-605 funds this year. You can read all the details about capacity in Assembly Bill 8 2016 Assessment of Time and Cost:
        http://www.energy.ca.gov/2017publications/CEC-600-2017-002/CEC-600-2017-002.pdf

        It isn’t just plan that can be canceled or delayed, it means funds are already awarded for specific companies and specific locations for these 66, work is done or under way and it is highly unlikely it will change.

        http://cafcp.org/stationmap

        Cross state travel is not in the cards yet, except for the Sacramento-Reno route. Both Honda and Toyota include rental access into lease for it.

        1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

          I.e. I mean out of state instead of “cross state”. You can travel from San Diego to San Francisco or Sacramento on I-5 or coastal route across California using current 300+ mile range cars.

    2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Or, to put it another way: The disparity between the number of H2 fueling stations which the California Fuel Cell Partnership is claiming will be built (using millions of taxpayer dollars per station), and the number of H2 fueling stations actually open for business on any given day, continues to grow by leaps and bounds.

      1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

        Get a life pathetic troll, all the funded stations were built so far. Maybe one or two were moved to other location, and that all.

        1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          If you repeat your Big Lies and “alternative facts” often enough, they become true… right?

          Reality check: Here’s what a May 2016 article from AutoBlog reported:

          In 2004, then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger approved the so-called California Hydrogen Blueprint Plan that would have seen 100 statewide hydrogen fueling stations operating by the end of 2010 – and there was a longer-term goal of having 250 stations open after that. The state funds earmarked for that effort subsequently dried up and so we’re left with less than two dozen open in California today.

          Full article here:

          http://www.autoblog.com/2016/05/31/firstelement-hydrogen-station-goal-early-2017-california/

          See also “FirstElement Hydrogen Fuel Cell Stations Progress Delayed In California By 1.5 Year”

          http://insideevs.com/firstelement-hydrogen-fuel-cell-stations-progress-delayed-california-1-5-year/

          1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

            Pu-pu:
            If you want to complain about some unfunded promises from some politician from last decade, please bring your rants to some political or history forum.

            We are talking about here about specific California initiatives with funds assigned, i.e. Assembly Bill 8. All the hydrogen stations that were funded so far were built and performing as expected, or are in construction on schedule. Construction time and station performance tracking is part of the funding requirements, nobody just gives money away without any control.

            The cost is on par with California highway DC charger funding:
            http://www.energy.ca.gov/contracts/transportation.html#GFO-15-603
            Check Notice of Proposed Award and Table 2 in project requirements in Application Manual. Around 1344 miles of highways covered, 54 stations in addition to existing ones. Proposed award – $36,161,809. You can cover the same distance with 7 hydrogen stations at 200 miles each, at half the cost to taxpayers, and have 2-4 minutes 0-100% refueling instead of 2 hour recharging at these joke level 20-50 kW chargers that can handle 1-2 cars at a time. How can you claim chargers are cheaper in your right mind? Only if you are drunk from Kool-Aid. VW settlement chargers are better, 150-350 kW with 5 stalls, but the cost is also over million per station.
            https://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/vw_info/vsi/vw-zevinvest/documents/vwinvestplan1_031317.pdf

            Destination charging isn’t cheap either, as you would need provide charger for each and every car no matter what, or it may be stuck for a day waiting for free charging spot. Refueling station can service a car in 2-4 minutes and be ready for next one, and can increase throughput during peak time.

    3. jelloslug says:

      But the list of actual function public stations is 27, about where Toyota said they will be two years ago. As a side note: there are 105 Tesla Supercharger plugs in the LA area alone.

      1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

        There are around that number stations with “retail and open” status:
        http://cafcp.org/stationmap

        Another number of stations are open, but not retail, or at testing stage yet. It takes long time for every automaker to do station tests and for station to reach official “open” status.

        Toyota is not in position to promise anything definite. It is up to California government to do work on infrastructure if they want it at this stage. Please complain to it about infrastructure delays. County permitting also takes a lot of time. 18-24 months overall from funding to open status.

        As for the Tesla charger plugs, it is like comparing electric scooter with Model S. Both can transport you, but charger plug is like scooter in this case. A plug would need around an hour to dispense energy needed to travel 300 miles, in best case, if battery, temperature and charger condition allow such rate. 100 kg over 3 hours like in recent still low volume station CAR-200 is equivalent to about 1000 kW sustained power, or about 7 Tesla chargers with 2 plugs each, 14 plugs total. Refueling station can be scaled to much higher rate if needed with reduced cost per dispensed energy in addition, bigger charging station would require industrial scale electric grid connection that is not easy nor cheap everywhere.

  9. Mike I. says:

    Honda needs to follow Chrysler’s playbook. Take the Odyssey chassis, put the Accord Hybrid drivetrain in the front and fill the mid-cabin under-floor storage with batteries. Then one-up Chrysler and put a 50kW GKN eAxle or equivalent on the rear axle for AWD. That will be a good vehicle and should sell well, at least in California. Just make sure that it has 16-20kWh of batteries.

  10. Isaac says:

    Ok so the fc clary is selling for bargain price of 25k to 30k. Oh no wait, its MSRP is 60k. Is clarity hurting Honda affordable price Brand?

    1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

      They are not selling, the are leasing it for $366/month including all options, $15,000 fuel, 21 day Avis Luxury rental, HOV lane sticker, plus extra $5000 CA rebate. It is obviously cheap if you can get it, at least on par with mass market Honda gas cars. No need to pay $1000+/month for 1000+ lb battery that can’t recharge in 3 minutes anyway.

      1. jelloslug says:

        $366 a month is too much for a car with no infrastructure outside California.

      2. Aaron says:

        You’ll be lucky if your FCEV fills up in 3 minutes. Some stations in California will only give the Toyota FCEV a 1/2 fill up (pressure issues) and it takes about 7-10 minutes for that much.

        You’re complaining about carrying around a heavy battery. I’m glad the FCEV components (which, ironically, include a battery!) don’t weigh anything at all, or your argument would fall on its face.

        FCEVs have a place in this world. It’s long-haul trucks. It’s not passenger vehicles. That is much better served (and more cheaply served) by EVs. Daimler sees it, BMW sees it, and soon more car companies will realize it too.

        1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

          There is very detailed fill-up time statistics somewhere on California government site. It is part of the funding requirement and it is monitored and recorded for retail stations. It takes about 2-3 minutes from 0 to 100%. 3 min is on the high end, when temperature is high.

          Sure something may always get broken everywhere as with any technology, or you may read some old stories about experimental stations. But all the hard data about it is here if you are interested to study it.

  11. Limited fuel cell market? Isn’t that a shameless exaggeration? There is no market for that nonsense, it’s time that someone tells them!

  12. mx says:

    A Honda BEV with only 80 miles of range, should of course, have an BMW i3 style Gas Generator option, otherwise it won’t be salable.

    1. Get Real says:

      Yes, we can always count on a serial anti-Tesla shorter/shill for Big Oil/Hydrogen like 4E, zzzz, sven to tell us “ignore that man behind the curtain…” blah, blah, blah!

      I daily drive by multiple times one of the few H2 “stations” (in actuality its only one pump!) co-located at a gas station (and as far away from the gas pumps as they could put it BTW).

      In thousands of the times I have driven by this H2 pump in the last 2 years, I have seen only ONE lonely and ugly as hell Toyota Mirage, er-Mirai in those times.

      Why?

      Here is a good answer:

      Meanwhile, I can’t go a block or two without seeing a PEV and it should also be noted that the number of Solar PV installations on houses and businesses have probably doubled in the last 3 years or so.

      So, a PEV with solar pv is an incredible synergy as the ONLY vehicle you can make your own (incredibly cheap) fuel for.

      This is the future and stalling tactics like the
      Fool Cell/Big Oil H2 boondoggle is nothing but a diversion.

      Since the nice guys running the big Oil companies are not the ones funding and building out H2 stations because they were able to bribe, er-sweet talk the Govt to wast taxpayer money on this losing effort soon to crash and burn as the MB defection and now the signs from Honda and maybe even Coyota that they are having second thoughts on H2.

      1. Mark.ca says:

        It’s like zzzz said, if it wont charge in 3 minutes then it’s no good. I want to be able to park in my garage and charge in 3 min so the car can rest until next day…undisturbed. Some of the “arguments” against evs are downright dumb. I seriously doubt these posters actually drive evs.

        1. Tony says:

          But you Tesla fans are trying to have it both ways. The first thing promoted with a Tesla is the supercharger network, “which allows road trips”. Now, when going up against fuel cell vehicles, you are charging them in your garages.

          1. Get Real says:

            Not both ways Tony.

            It is pretty simple, You charge every night and have a fully charged battery in the morning is an advantage of not having to rely 100% on a filling station for all your fuel.

            Having a DCFC Supercharger then allows one the ability to travel long distances with relatively fast on the road fueling, i.e.–drive for 2 or 3 hours and then take a half hour or so break to eat/bathroom, etc. while your car recharges.

            1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

              It may work great for fanboys and enthusiasts, but the rest of the population prefers cars that serve their needs, not to serve their car needs and spend 30 minutes in a restroom just because their car wants it at that time.

              You can spend all your holiday trip time at chargers, I see no point to pay tripple price for that “pleasure”. Especially that big long-range battery defeats all environmental benefits that commuter BEV may have. And half of the world population doesn’t even have their own garages or even fixed parking spots, what you will offer for them?

  13. Get Real says:

    Absolutely they don’t drive EVs.

    Most of them are serial Tesla shorters and anti-EV/clean energy to boot.

    Professional stock manipulator Mark Spiegel used to carpet bomb the Tesla threads with repetitive anti-Tesla and anti EV FUD here.

    That is until finally Jay told him to not bother to post unless he was truthful and guess what–he basically disappeared because he is incapable of telling the truth as he seeks more money for himself at the expense of the public good.

    Makes you wonder if some of these trolls aren’t part of the current Trump/Putin/Fossil Fools administration.

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Fool cell fanboys and Big Oil shills certainly do seem to share at least part of the Trumpster philosophy: A love for Big Lies and “alternative facts”, and an attempt to treat Truth as if it’s a negotiation.

      “Facts are stubborn things.” — John Adams

  14. evnow says:

    At this point its not clear why any company would work on fuel cells. Clearly it costs more to make those cars & support them than to just buy the credits, even if they don’t want to make EVs.

    1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

      It is quite clear why, if you read studies and get familiar with costs projections. It is long term strategy, not an attempt to sell few overpriced cars now to enthusiasts, milk subsidies or pump and dump stock to gullible investors.

      1. jelloslug says:

        If there is one truth about fuel cell cars it that they are always in the future.

  15. Bret says:

    I’m shocked Honda still hasn’t come to the realization that fuel cells are a Fool’s Errand. Even more bewildering is that they haven’t even figured out that 80 mile electric cars are obsolete. For such a great company, they are hopelessly behind the times.

    They need to poach some people from Tesla or Nissan.

    1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

      Yep, they need to convert to Tesla cult and start pumping and dumping shares. That is true business that would make them rich quick in no time! Probably they are just dumb and have no clue at all, unlike all the geniuses commenting here.

      1. Jason says:

        But you comment here as well, so I guess that makes you one of the geniuses also.

        It is fun to see which technology will become viable. Many manufacturers make PHEV,a few less make BEV, but how many actually making FCEV? Maybe it will be the future, but right now it seems to have very little to show for all the investment. Meanwhile BEV is just getting on with things.

        Maybe the answer for long range travel is fly/train/bus and then rent an EV at the other end?

        I love my Leaf, but I agree it is a big pain having to wait for the recharge. Unfortunately where I live there are no DCFC, if we had that then my Leaf would be quite good enough for most things I do. Tesla would be more than enough.

        By the way, does FCEV allow towing? That really is a missing thing for most BEV’s at the moment.

        1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

          There are only 3 fuel cell vehicles for limited sale in California now, so it is clearly lagging behind battery only cars. But I don’t think it does mean that it will stay the same forever. Or maybe we will have antigravity vests next decade and cars will not be needed 😉 Or some nano tech supercapacitors at 50 kWh/kg density for $10/kWh 😉
          Hyundai Tucson has 1000/1500 lb towing in specs. I don’t see it in FC version, and it is going out of sale now before new model. Technically towing should be no problem if you are within range of stations and power is enough to go uphill, as you can refuel in minutes.