The Honda FCV CONCEPT makes its European debut at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show.
The futuristically styled FCV CONCEPT previews an all-new fuel cell road car that is scheduled to go on sale in Japan in the first half of 2016, and subsequently in the USA and Europe within the following 12 months.
Honda’s next-generation fuel cell vehicle will succeed the brand’s two previous production fuel cell cars, the FCX and FCX Clarity, and will feature significant improvements in performance and costs. The newly-developed fuel cell stack installed in the Honda FCV CONCEPT is 33% smaller than its predecessor, and yet realises an output of more than 100 kW and an output density as high as 3.1 kW/L. This contributes to an overall performance improvement of approximately 60%.
At its launch next year, Honda’s third production fuel cell vehicle will be the world’s first fuel cell car with the entire powertrain, including the downsized fuel cell stack, housed under the bonnet of a conventional sedan body shape. This packaging layout enables designers and engineers to develop a full cabin package that seats five adults comfortably. This in turn provides a future pathway to evolve Honda’s fuel cell-specific platform to provide the foundation for further body styles, which will contribute to promoting the more widespread acceptance and adoption of this zero emissions technology by an ever broadening section of motorists.
The Honda FCV CONCEPT is equipped with a 70 MPa high-pressure hydrogen storage tank that provides a cruising range of more than 700 km (435 miles). The tank can be refilled in approximately three minutes, making refuelling as quick and easy as today’s conventionally-fuelled cars.
Developed in conjunction with ‘hydrogen society’ enabling technologies
As part of its holistic approach to promoting the adoption of the forthcoming ‘hydrogen energy society’, Honda continues to tackle the challenges facing the uptake of the fuel cell vehicle by developing new enabler hydrogen technologies beyond the vehicle itself.
One such innovation installed in the FCV CONCEPT is the Honda Power Exporter Concept, an external power feeding function, which underwent a large number of verification tests with the FCX Clarity. This system enables the car to function as a small mobile power plant that generates and provides electricity to the community in times of disaster or other events. It is capable of producing up to 9kW of AC power.
Furthermore, Honda will continue to promote the application of the Smart Hydrogen Station (SHS), a packaged hydrogen station unit that adopts Honda’s original high-differential-pressure electrolyser.
Together, the Power Exporter Concept, FCV CONCEPT and Smart Hydrogen Station embody Honda’s vision for the forthcoming ‘hydrogen society’, respectively representing the ‘generate’, ‘use’ and ‘get connected’ functions. Through these interrelated technologies, and other research and development activities, Honda is working tirelessly towards a CO2-free society.
Honda’s pioneering track record in fuel cell vehicle technologies
Honda views hydrogen as a high-potential, next-generation energy solution as it can be generated from various energy sources and is easily transportable and storable. Based on this view, Honda has been positioning the fuel cell vehicle – 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. As a result, Honda has taken a proactive approach to the research and development of fuel cell vehicles since the late 1980s.
In 2002, the Honda FCX became the first 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 fuel cell stack able to start at below-freezing temperatures. Then, in 2005, Honda became the world’s first vehicle manufacturer to begin lease sales of fuel cell vehicles to individual customers in the USA.
In 2008, Honda began lease sales of the FCX Clarity, a fuel cell vehicle that offers not only the ultimate in clean performance, but also innovative sedan-type package and sophisticated driving feel.
Honda has been a leading company in the development of fuel cell vehicles, amassing real-world data through lease sales in Japan and the USA, including actual feedback from individual users and also driving data from the vehicles.
In Europe, Honda is involved in a number of Hydrogen-related programmes both at a national and Europe-wide level.[wzslider height=”400″ lightbox=”true”]