Honda FCV Concept Makes World Debut in Japan
Honda, like Toyota, believes in fuel-cell cars and unveiled this month a new FCV concept sedan, which looks to be a solid competitor for the Toyota Mirai.
However, Honda needs another 1.5 years to introduce the production version by the end of March 2016 in Japan, and later in Europe and the US.
Here is the reason why Honda is moving to fuel cells and what the automaker has done to date:
“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*2 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*2 fuel-cell stack able to start at below-freezing temperatures. Then in 2005, Honda became the world’s first*2 to begin lease sales of FCVs to individual customers in the U.S.
In 2008, Honda began lease sales of the FCX Clarity, an unprecedented fuel-cell vehicle that offers not only the ultimate in clean performance, but also new values and the appeal of a car, including an innovative sedan-type package and driving feel that is far beyond conventional vehicles.”
According to Honda, the successor model to the FCX Clarity will have further improvements in performance and a reduction in cost.
There is a newly-developed fuel-cell stack, 33% smaller than the previous one and with output of more than 100 kW.
Honda achieved output density of 3.1 kW/L “improving the overall performance by approximately 60% compared to the previous version of the fuel-cell stack“.
The entire powertrain, including the fuel-cell stack, will be for the very first time consolidated under the hood of a sedan-type vehicle.
Without cabin intrusion, Honda FCV Concept offers 5 seats.
The 70 MPa high-pressure hydrogen storage enables to drive up to 700 km in JC08 mode (expect far less in the real world) and can be refueled in 3 minutes.
An interesting device presented together with the concept car is the Honda Power Exporter Concept, an external power feeding device that enables AC power output from the FCV with maximum output of 9 kW.
“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.”
For sure this could be a handy feature.
The Japanese carmaker announced also that it will further promote the application of the Smart Hydrogen Station (SHS) – “a packaged hydrogen station unit that adopts Honda’s original high-differential-pressure electrolyzer”
On the European site, Honda listed Hydrogen Programs in which it is involved:
“Clean Energy Partnership (Germany)
In 2011 Honda joined the German Demonstration Project, “Clean Energy Partnership” (CEP), which at the time was Europe’s largest demonstration project for hydrogen mobility. In addition to around 100 fuel cell cars that are currently on the road as part of the project, the CEP is testing the operation of hydrogen-powered buses for public transport. The aim is to test the suitability of hydrogen as an alternative fuel for everyday use and help prepare the market for the introduction of fuel cell vehicles. This includes the sustainable production of hydrogen and the development of a hydrogen infrastructure. By the end of 2015 there will be 50 hydrogen filling stations in Germany, making it the world’s first country that has a basic supply network. Hydrogen-powered electric mobility is an opportunity for Germany to expand its leading international position in the field of pioneering fuel and drivetrain concepts.
H2 Mobility (Germany)
IN 2011, in Germany, Honda joined leading industrial companies, in the joint initiative, H2 Mobility, as an Associated Partner, with the primary focus on deploying the hydrogen refuelling network in Germany. By the year 2023, the current network of 15 filling stations in Germany’s public hydrogen infrastructure shall be expanded to about 400 H2 filling stations.
The Partners, Air Liquide, Daimler, Linde, OMV, Shell, Total, together with the National Organisation for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology (NOW GmbH), the intention is to lay the groundwork for the commercial introduction of electric vehicles with fuel cell powertrains.
New Hydrogen Refuelling Stations will be located in the existing hydrogen regions, in which there are existing sites of different mineral oil companies: Berlin, Hamburg and Stuttgart as well as along the new integrated North-South and East-West corridors.
The goal is the establishment of a nationwide network of hydrogen fuelling stations in Germany.
H2 Mobility (UK)
In the United Kingdom, Honda joined the UK H2 Mobility project, which was established to determine the needs for the commercial deployment of hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEVs) in the UK from 2015.
It is a collaborative project evaluating the potential for hydrogen FCEVs to provide environmental and economic benefits to the UK. It is evaluating the potential for hydrogen to contribute to the decarbonisation of road transport, as well as the opportunities that can be derived from being a leading global player in the development, demonstration, manufacturing and use of new technologies.
The project brings together industrial participants from the fuel cell technology, energy utility, industry gases, fuel retail and global car manufacturing sectors together with a European public-private partnership, three UK Government Departments, the Devolved Administrations and the Greater London Assembly to develop a business case and strategic plan for the commercial roll-out of the technology from 2015.
Honda’s participation enables it to work with the UK Government and other vehicle manufacturers and fuel providers to support a roll-out strategy for hydrogen transport in the UK as well as have a clearer vision of the UK opportunities.
At the European level, Honda and other leading motor manufacturers, hydrogen fuel suppliers and energy consultancies from around the globe signed a €38.4m (£31m) agreement with the European Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU). The project is coordinated by the Mayor of London’s Office, and its objective is to develop and demonstrate technology and infrastructure that will help fuel cell electric vehicles to become a viable and environmentally friendly option for European motorists in the future.
The project, known as HyFIVE (Hydrogen For Innovative Vehicles), is the largest of its kind in Europe. Honda is one of five manufacturers who have agreed to deploy a total of 110 hydrogen fuel cell vehicles at several European locations and develop new clusters of hydrogen refuelling stations. Refuelling stations configured in viable networks will be developed in three distinct clusters by deploying 6 new stations linked with 12 existing stations supplied by Air Products, Linde, OMV, ITM Power and Copenhagen Hydrogen Network.
For Honda, the HyFIVE project is a unique opportunity to showcase the advancements that Honda has made relating to fuel cell technology and fuel cell electric vehicle development.
Honda is taking a proactive role in the HyFIVE project, including the provision of vehicles, identifying potential end users, developing service concepts and communicating FCEV activities to the wider public on national and local level.”