Honda has followed in the water-exhaust trail of fellow Japanese automakers Toyota and Nissan as well as South Korea-based Hyundai in reaching an agreement to accelerate the development of hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicles (FCEV) in the Nordic countries.
Honda joined in on the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with representatives from Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Iceland. The agreement, signed recently in Copenhagen, specifically targets FCEV refueling infrastructure development from 2014 and 2017.
The countries involved have been pushing for FCEV development for at least a couple of years. In February 2011, Hyundai and its Kia affiliate reached its own MOU with the Nordic countries to speed up the vehicle-development process. Some say FCEVs are a "best of both worlds" solution to cutting greenhouse gas emissions because they emit nothing but water vapor and can go about as far as a conventional vehicle on a full tank. One stumbling block is building out an refueling infrastructure, which this MOU addresses. You can find the press release below.
Honda is leasing the FCX Clarity (pictured) in limited numbers the U.S. and Japan, and was the first automaker to make FCEVs available to the public with the launch of the FCX in 2002.
Today in Copenhagen Honda, along with Toyota, Nissan, and Hyundai, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with organisations from the Nordic Countries supporting the market introduction of fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) and hydrogen refuelling infrastructure between 2014 and 2017, further highlighting Honda's commitment to fuel cell electric vehicles as the ultimate zero emission technology.
Honda has been engaged in fuel cell Research & Development since the mid 1980s and has been at the forefront of the industry in both R&D and sales of this technology. Last month Honda announced an all-new fuel cell electric model for Japan, the U.S. and Europe to be launched from 2015. This new vehicle will showcase further technological advancements and significant cost reductions.
The MoU signed today seeks to generate dialogue with public and private stakeholders in Norway, Sweden, Iceland and Denmark on accelerating the market introduction of FCEVs and follows an agreement signed by car manufacturers in Europe in 2009 which identified 2015 as a potential point for market introduction in regions where hydrogen refuelling is available.
Commenting on Honda's involvement in this project, Ken Keir, Executive Vice President, Honda Motor Europe said, "In 2002 Honda became the world's first carmaker to put a fuel cell car on the road with regular customers, delivering the Honda FCX to fleet users in the United States and Japan. We want to continue to lead the way for fuel cell technology across the world including Europe. This MoU signifies that commitment."
The MoU was signed in the presence of the Danish Minister for Transport and the Director of the International Energy Agency, directorate of Sustainable Energy Policy and Technology at the 3GF conference in Copenhagen.