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EPA, CARB: 2nd Gen Honda H2 Good to Go

28 July 2004

Both the EPA and CARB (California Air Resource Board) have certified the 2005 Honda FCX fuel cell vehicle as ready for commercial use.

The second generation of the model, the 2005 FCX is the first to be powered by a Honda designed and manufactured fuel cell stack, and offers some performance improvements over the first model. The basic stats for each:

2004 FCX 2005 FCX
Peak Power (hp) 80 107 33%
Max Speed (mph) 93 93
EPA city/hway/comb
(miles/kg H2)
51/46/48 62/51/57 19% (comb)
Range (miles) 160 190 19%
Maximum torque (ft-lbs) 201 201
Fuel Cell Stack type PEFC (Polymer Electrolyte) PEMFC (Proton Exchange Membrane)  
Fuel Cell Max Output (kW) 78 86 10%
Fuel type Compressed H2 Compressed H2  
Fuel Storage High-pressure tank High-pressure tank  
Max pressure (psi) 5,000 5,000  
Capacity (liters) 156.6 156.6  

(In terms of energy efficiency, one mile per kilogram (mpkg) of hydrogen is almost equivalent to one mile per gallon (mpg) of gasoline.)

The improvements in power and range stem from the new Honda FC stack. It also allows the 2005 FCX to start and operate in temperatures as low as -20 C (-4 F). (Clearly a necessary hurdle to overcome.)

“The 2005 Honda FCX achieves a significant milestone in the progress toward a hydrogen economy,” said Terry Tamminen, Agency Secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency. “This second generation fuel cell from Honda makes further simultaneous progress in key areas including performance, range, efficiency and cold weather operability while achieving zero emissions.”

According to Honda, the new FC stack utilizes a new structure made of stamped metal separators and new aromatic membrane material, features 50% percent fewer components than its predecessor, and is easier to manufacture.

There still remains much work to do in power, storage (range) and fuel infrastructure—but the steady pace of innovation and development is very encouraging.

July 28, 2004 in Fuel Cells, Hydrogen | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack (1)

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Comments

And what is the cost of the hydrogen? In other words, how much does your 190 miles cost you? And does anybody know if the price is subsidised?

For the record, driving 190 miles in my *smart* uses about 13.4 litres of diesel fuel. At today's price here in Barrie, Ontario, Canada (never particularly cheap) this costs me C$0.98/litre or C$13.10, or about US$11.14.

Well, that’s a bit of a moving target. The DOE has established a *target* end-user price (delivered, untaxed, in 2005 dollars) of $2.00–$3.00 per gallon of gasoline equivalent (gge) by 2015. Currently, depending upon the pathway used to produce the hydrogen, it’s about 2-2.5 times that.

Soooo, let’s say $5.00 gge in today’s dollars. With the 2005 FCX combined fuel economy of 57 miles/kg, that would have your 190 miles cost you approximately (WAG) US$16.67 today.

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