The five-seater's technical details are perhaps more important than how it looks, since this is where the car really tries to set itself apart. A range of more than 300 miles will be possible from a 100kW hydrogen fuel cell stack that has a power density of 3kW/L, which is 60-percent higher than it was before while being 33-percent smaller than the stack in the gorgeous FCX Clarity. Honda doesn't get into the issue of a lack of fuel stations in its press release (there are only 10 public H2 stations in the US today), but it does say that the FCEV Concept could be refueled in about three minutes using a 70 MPa system.
The fuel stack's small size means this is the first time a fuel-cell powertrain has been "packaged completely in the engine room of the vehicle," Honda says, which means the company should be able to do a lot of interesting things with vehicle design, just as some EV designers can do today. Honda also says the compact size means there is "flexibility in the potential application of FC technology to multiple vehicle types in the future," so if you don't like the look of the concept unveiled today, keep your eyes peeled for something different.
- Sleek and aerodynamic, 5-passenger Honda FCEV Concept expresses potential styling direction for next-generation Honda fuel cell-electric vehicle launching in 2015
- Next generation Honda FCEV promises significant gains in real-world performance, cost reduction, efficiency, packaging and appeal, including more than 300-mile driving range
Showcasing exciting and modern styling, the Honda FCEV Concept features sweeping character lines underscored by an ultra-aerodynamic body. The Honda FCEV Concept also delivers ample passenger space and seating for 5-passengers thanks to new powertrain packaging efficiencies.
"The Honda FCEV Concept hints at Honda's future direction for fuel-cell vehicles," said Tetsuo Iwamura, president and CEO of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "While this car is a concept, it points toward a very real future."
Next Generation Honda Fuel Cell-Electric Vehicle
Honda's next generation fuel cell-electric vehicle launching in 2015 will feature the world's first application of a fuel-cell powertrain packaged completely in the engine room of the vehicle, allowing for efficiencies in cabin space as well as flexibility in the potential application of FC technology to multiple vehicle types in the future. Significant technological advancements to the fuel-cell stack have yielded more than 100kW of power output. The power density is now 3kW/L, an increase of 60 percent, with the stack size reduced 33-percent compared to the FCX Clarity. The next generation Honda FCEV is anticipated to deliver a driving range of more than 300 miles with a quick refueling time of about three minutes at a pressure of 70 MPa.
"The Honda FCEV Concept not only sets our direction for our next generation fuel-cell vehicle in 2015, but for future improvements in electric drive technology," said Mike Accavitti, senior vice president of American Honda Motor Co. "The advancements we are making are substantial, meaningful and very real."
Honda Fuel-Cell Leadership
Honda has led the industry for nearly two decades in the development and deployment of fuel-cell technology through extensive real world testing, including the first government fleet deployment and retail customer leasing program. Honda has made significant technological advancements in fuel-cell operation in both hot and sub- freezing weather, meeting stringent emissions requirements and safety regulations since the introduction of its first generation fuel-cell vehicle, the FCX in 2002.
Honda began leasing its first-generation FCEV, the Honda FCX, in 2002 and has deployed vehicles in the U.S. and Japan, including its successor, the FCX Clarity, which was named the 2009 World Green Car. Honda has delivered these vehicles to individual retail consumers in the U.S. and collected valuable data concerning real-world use of fuel cell-electric vehicles and hydrogen stations.
Honda's current fuel cell-electric vehicle, the FCX Clarity, launched in July 2008 and was quickly heralded as a technological breakthrough in the areas of design, packaging and efficiency. As the world's first dedicated fuel-cell vehicle, the FCX Clarity features a striking silhouette and a low-slung cabin. With the V-flow fuel cell stack positioned down the center of the vehicle and the electric motor located in the front of the vehicle, Honda was able to maintain the Clarity's futuristic styling while delivering 240 miles of driving range.
In the effort to speed the advance of a refueling infrastructure, in May 2013, American Honda joined the public-private partnership H2USA, which brings together automakers, government agencies, hydrogen suppliers, and the hydrogen and fuel-cell industries to coordinate research and identify cost-effective solutions to deploy infrastructure that can deliver affordable, clean hydrogen fuel in the United States.
In July 2013, Honda entered into a long-term collaborative agreement with General Motors to co-develop the next-generation of fuel-cell systems and hydrogen storage technologies, aiming for the 2020 timeframe. The collaboration expects to succeed by sharing technological expertise, economies of scale and common sourcing strategies.
Honda Fuel Cell-Electric Vehicle Firsts:
The original FCX became the first EPA- and CARB-certified fuel-cell vehicle in July 2002. The FCX also was the world's first production fuel-cell vehicle, introduced to the U.S. and Japan in December 2002.
Additional highlights include:
- The Honda FCX was the first fuel-cell vehicle to start and operate in sub-freezing temperatures (2003).
- The FCX was the first fuel cell vehicle leased to an individual customer (July 2005).
- Honda was the first manufacturer to build and produce a dedicated fuel cell vehicle on a production line specifically made for fuel-cell vehicles (2008).
- Honda was the first manufacturer to create a fuel-cell vehicle dealer network (2008).
Honda is committed to further advancements in environmental technologies and the effort to improve fuel efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions from its products, including the 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid and Plug-In, the Fit EV, Civic Natural Gas and the Honda FCX Clarity fuel-cell electric vehicle (FCEV). Honda also has led the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) rankings of overall vehicle environmental performance since 2000, and a Honda vehicle has topped the list of America's greenest vehicles from the America Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) for 15 consecutive years.