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Hydrogen-Station Homing on Honda FCX

Honda is equipping all of its hydrogen fuel cell-powered 2005 FCX vehicles with a navigation system that incorporates the location of hydrogen fueling stations, including those being developed as part of California’s “Hydrogen Highway” initiative.

Based on the Honda-developed navigation systems offered in many Honda and Acura models, the voice-activated system includes features such as the capability to find and display hydrogen stations through voice commands, including directions and driving distances.

Offering national navigation coverage, the system currently includes a total of 26 H2 stations in its database with nine of them outside the state of California. There is also a feature included that will allow the user to add stations to their personal address book. As the infrastructure develops further, periodic system updates will be performed by Honda to include any new stations to the directory.



Why H2?

The H2A costing models and case studies have been updated to version 1.0.10. These models have tremendous industry wide input and a very significant and stringent peer review process.

The new case studies can be found here:

Current Forecourt Hydrogen Production from Grid Electrolysis (1,500 kg/day) version 1.0.10
= $5.88/kg

Current Forecourt Hydrogen Production from Natural Gas (1,500 kg/day) version 1.0.10
= $3.49/kg

I'll utilize the forecourt models because it represents the easiest and most straight forward deployment model for a hydrogen economy. It would allow for easy deployment of the "lighthouse" approach proposed by Shell Hydrogen without having to make huge capital outlays. Each new H2 station can be setup individually utilizing existing natural gas and electricity capabilities without any need to create large centralized plants, new underground piping, or long distance transportation scenarios for hydrogen. If large capital investments are made in this infrastructure for centralized production then even better economics can come into play in the long run, but better economics are not necessary...they are just a bonus.

If we utilize Honda's best selling full size sedan, the Honda Accord, and Honda's newest innovative full size fuel cell sedan, the Honda FCX Concept, we can find out some pretty interesting things. The 2 vehicles have very similar dimensions...

Honda Accord V6
- 191.1 L / 57.3 H / 71.6 W
Honda FCX Concept
- 185.8 L / 56.3 H / 73.6 W

The 2 vehicles have very similar ranges...
Honda Accord V6
- 354 miles
Honda FCX Concept
- 350 miles

The 2 vehicles both have some pretty decent power on tap...
Honda Accord V6
- 244 hp
Honda FCX Concept
- 174 hp

The Honda FCX Concept does have less (but still adequate) horsepower, but that will be somewhat offset by quicker off the line acceleration from the near instantaneous peak torque available through the electric drive system versus the internal combustion engine which requires 5000 rpm before reaching peak torque. Additionally the low center of gravity on the Honda FCX Concept and the 4 wheel drive system with individually adjustable in wheel rear motors will provide maximum agility in handling. If this is not enough, then one can factor in the emission free nature of the Honda FCX Concept, the potential convenience of home refueling, the superior cabin volume, and the fact you can provide backup power for a small neighborhood.

Now lets utilize these vehicles and compare the fuel costs.

Fuel Price.............Tank Capacity..........Cost For 350(4) miles

$1.02/gallon..........17.1 gallons..............$17.44
$1.72/gallon..........17.1 gallons..............$29.41
$2.40/gallon..........17.1 gallons..............$41.04
$3.00/gallon..........17.1 gallons..............$51.30

The price of gas must be $1.02/gallon to be price competitive with hydrogen from H2A forecourt reformed natural gas.

The price of gas must be $1.72/gallon to be price competitive with hydrogen from H2A forecourt electrolysis.

With today's gas prices of $2.40 per gallon, gasoline is 135% more expensive than hydrogen from reformed natural gas and 40% more expensive than hydrogen from electrolysis.

Source for Honda FCX Concept tank size, range, and other information:

Source for Honda Accord V6 tank size and range:

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