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The sleekly styled Honda FCEV Concept, made its world debut today at the Los Angeles International Auto Show. The concept expresses a potential styling direction for Honda’s next-generation fuel-cell vehicle anticipated to launch in the U.S. and Japan in 2015, followed by Europe.
Honda’s next generation fuel cell-electric vehicle 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 a 60 percent increase in power density while reducing the size of the stack by 33 percent compared to the FCX Clarity. It is anticipated to deliver a driving range of more than 300 miles with quick refuelling of about three minutes at a pressure of 70 MPa.
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 five passengers.
“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.
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 programme. Honda has made significant technological advancements in fuel-cell stack operation in both hot and cold 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 the hands of customers in the U.S. and collected valuable data concerning real-world use of fuel cell-electric vehicles.
Since 2009, Honda in Europe has been running two FCX Clarity vehicles on a demonstration and testing programme.
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 centre 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 May 2013, to speed up the progress of establishing a refuelling infrastructure, American Honda joined the public-private partnership H2USA, which brings together automakers, government agencies, gas 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 U.S. 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.
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 placed in the hands of an individual customer (July 2005).
Honda was the first manufacturer of a dedicated fuel cell vehicle built on a production line specifically for hydrogen-powered, fuel-cell vehicles (2008).
Honda was the first manufacturer to create a fuel-cell vehicle dealer network (2008).