In a recent press release, Honda announced that they were able to extend the driving range of their 2nd generation FCX fuel cell vehicle from 190 miles to 210. To achieve this, they didn't replace the catalysts, rework the exchange membranes or rebuild the fuel cell stack. They found the additional 20 miles in a software upgrade. Welcome to the future.

After recoding their refueling software, Honda engineers were able to improve to the refueling process making better use of the FCX's existing storage capacity.

The FCX is currently in use by 15 customers in 3 states in the U.S. It is the only fuel cell vehicle to be certified by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) as well as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for everyday commercial use. For 2006, the carmaker added the Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System which contains all existing hydrogen fueling stations in the U.S. in its database.

Honda is also continuing their research and development on an experimental home-based refueling unit dubbed the Home Energy Station (HES). The aim of the station is to provide an environment capable of refueling a fuel cell vehicle (as its name suggests) while being able to provide enough electricity for an average size home.

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[Source: Honda Motor Company]

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