Today Honda has revealed its new fuel-cell vehicle, the Honda FCV Concept along with a concept model of an external power feeding device that produces an AC power output from the FCV with a maximum rated output of 9kW. This new FCV will be turned into a production model which will go on sale from March 2016 in Japan and then subsequently in the U.S and Europe. In addition to these two fuel-cell application there will be another application, the Smart Hydrogen Station (SHS), which will use Honda’s high-differential-pressure electrolyzer. Honda says that this three applications will provide three concepts for the future CO2-free and hydrogen based society; “generate,” “use” and “get connected”.
Honda says that they view hydrogen as the future environmentally friendly fuel because of three main reasons that it can be produced from various sources, is easily transportable and storable. Due to these reasons Honda is striving to develop the FCV (which uses hydrogen and reacts it with oxygen to make electricity and power the electric motor) as the ultimate environmentally responsible vehicle since the late 1980s.
In 2002 the old FCX got the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) certifications and became the first car in the world to be certified which allowed Honda to start lease-based sales of the FCX in the U.S and Japan. The struggle for fuel-cell cars by Honda is very long which includes the 2003 Honda FC STACK, the first stack-able fuel-cell to start at below-freeing temperatures and then in 2005 Honda started to lease the FCX to individual-customers in the U.S.
Then in 2008 Honda began to lease the FCX Clarity which was the most practical and was closer to reality of a fuel-cell car in a sedan-style package.
In these ways Honda has become the biggest fuel-cell researcher, gathering real-life data from the leased vehicles and getting the customers feedback individually. This new FCV is the successor to the FCX Clarity and has improved the overall performance of the car by almost 60%. This increased performance includes a 33% smaller fuel-cell stack and yet produces a realized output of more than 100kW and output density of 3.1kW/l. This will also be the world’s first fuel-cell vehicle that hosts the complete fuel-cell stack and the entire powertrain under its hood which enables a proper 5-seat sedan spacing in the cabin and will prove to be more compatible with other styles of vehicles in the future (when fuel-cells will be widespread) for a wide range of customer choices.
The new FCV will be equipped with a 70 MPa high-pressure hydrogen storage tank that can provide up-to 700 km cruising range and can be refilled in approximately 3 minutes which matches the time of refilling in current generation gasoline vehicles. Another feature up the new FCV sleeve is the external power feeding device which was tested on the FCX Clarity and changes the new FCV into a small-mobile-power-generation-plant in times of disasters and other unexpected events.