Honda Power Exporter 9000
Nikkei is reporting that Honda intends to standardize a chassis to offer hydrogen fuel cell (FCV), electric (EV) and plug-in hybrid (PHEV) models. This move will save costs on all three offerings..
Sharing the same undercarriage, the electric and plug-in hybrid will follow in 2018 (Japan, U.S. and Europe), all produced on the same line.
According to Nikkei, Honda FCV is to be slightly more expensive than Toyota Mirai, but will have slightly more range.
"Smaller fuel cells enable the powertrain for the hydrogen-powered car to be stored in the front, and it has a cruising range of over 700km on a full tank, beating Toyota Motor's Mirai by at least 50km. The car is expected to sell for 7.66 million yen ($62,807)."
"Though the Honda fuel-cell vehicle is set to cost over 400,000 yen more than the Mirai, the Toyota vehicle houses the power generating unit at the bottom of car, which requires a special chassis. By standardizing the undercarriage, Honda can keep down expenses for the different green vehicles and raise cost competitiveness."
Like in the case of Toyota, Honda will begin ramping up production of FCVs using small scale facilities - the Automobile R&D Center run by subsidiary Honda R&D. Production to be continued from 2018 in Sayama Plant near Tokyo.
But let's look at those numbers - initially 400 FCVs annually and 1,500 in 2020! That's 20 times less than Toyota's expectations for 2020 at 30,000.
At the same time Honda would like to reach 35,000 electric and plug-in hybrid sales annually. Those aren't not high numbers, but the difference compared to Honda's hydrogen fuel cell cars is shocking.