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Honda to Put Hydrogen FCX Concept into Production in 3–4 Years

Honda_fcx_prototype
The new production FCX will be similar to this concept version.

Honda Motor Co announced that it will begin production in Japan of its next-generation FCX hydrogen fuel cell vehicle (FCV) in three to four years, signalling rapid advancement in Honda’s fuel cell technology.

The recently introduced FCX Concept (earlier post), according to Honda President and CEO Takeo Fukui, “is very close to [that] next generation fuel cell vehicle...In fact, this fall ... we will begin limited driving opportunities with a prototype version of this vehicle.

The new FCX Concept uses a new, compact 3V System fuel cell platform that enables the lowest-floor platform in a fuel cell vehicle yet. Oxygen and hydrogen flow from the top to the bottom of the fuel cell stack (Vertical gas flow) and the fuel cells are arranged vertically in the center tunnel (Vertebral layout) for new, high-efficiency fuel cell packaging (Volume efficiency).

The new stack delivers 100 kW of power, compared to the 86 kw of the 2006 FCX. The key to the fuel cell’s performance is water management; Honda’s new system takes full advantage of gravity to efficiently discharge water formed during electricity generation.

This improves performance in sub-zero temperatures, further solving the problem of cold-weather startup that has been a key obstacle to the commercialization of FCVs. With the 3V system, Honda has achieved ultra-low-temperature start-up performance on par with that of a gasoline engine.

The drivetrain uses three energy-efficient motors-one 80kW in the front and a 25kW space-efficient motor in each rear wheel. A newly developed hydrogen absorption material in the tank doubles capacity to 5 kg of hydrogen at 5000 PSI, extending cruising range to 350 miles, equivalent to that of a gasoline-engine car.

Comments

H2O

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:
http://www.hydrogen.energy.gov/h2a_prod_studies.html

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

$3.49/kg...............5kg..........................$17.45
$5.88/kg...............5kg..........................$29.40
$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:
http://world.honda.com/Tokyo2005/fcx/index.html
http://world.honda.com/Tokyo2005/fcx/index02.html

Source for Honda Accord V6 tank size and range:
http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/2001cartablef.jsp?id=21962

Anonymous

I would like to just tell the person who claimed that Hydrogen is much more expensive to process then gasoline. That is made up fiction if that person ever saw the history channel three hour documentary on hydrogen vehicles. He would know that to fill up a hydrogen running suv would cost 50 cents. It is very simple to process hydrogen with the right technology. Hydrogen is one of the most abundant gases in the world and that is fact and that is why it is so cheap and thats also fact. Just go to California to some of the few hyrdogen stations that they have their to fill up hydrogen cars. If you go you will see to fill up a hydrogen suv its 50 cents. So please to the person who said its more expensive to process hydrogen then gasoline please get your facts straight. Honda is the best car company hydrogen is the most environmentally friendly company. I hope they continue to do what they are doing and they will becuase they care. Another thing the reason for hydrogen cars being so expensive is because its a farely new technology being used in cars. Its a fact that when the first gasoline cars were made they were very expnsive until about 10 years after the first gasoline cars were made. Ten years after the first gasoline cars were made the cost came down because they found ways to make the parts in the car cheaper; that they did not know how to make cheaper ten years earlier. When the first gasoline cars were made the price was what we consider today one million dollars. After ten years of the first gasoline cars being made the price came down because of cheap advancements in how to make the parts cheaper. The same applies for hydrogen cars as is said on the history channel documentary on hydrogen vehicles. It is a fact that every year their are major advancements on making expensive parts in hydrogen cars cheaper every year. Usually some parts go down one hundread dollars to five hundread dollars every year for a handful of parts. Only a few parts of the hydrogen cars engines have been found new ways to be made cheaper but predictions from the best researchers predict that hydrogen car prices will come down to close prices of what gasoline cars cost today in 2025. In 2025 the engines will be much more cheaper to make because of huge advancements being made every year. Hydrogen gas is extremely cheap as I have already said and is one of the most abundant gas in world. Hydrogen cars cost will come down to middle class levels farely qucikly around 2025. I have studied about this closely on many documentaries, and CNN news reports, and many books about hydrogen vehicles and other environmentally friendly sources for vehicles, houses, and power.

Raviraj Takpire

Its very useful information.

Harshit

Hey can anybody plz explain me how the Honda FCX's engine works.

HMC4life

H2O, Hydrogen in it's gaseous state is not very common on earth. Our atmosphere is composed of around 78% Nitrogen, 21% Oxygen, and 1% other gasses, most of which is CO2 and water vapor. I don't see why Hydrogen gas would be common, since the main place for gasses on earth is in the atmosphere. Hydrogen itself is common, and is found in great quantities here on earth, but is chemicaly bonded to other elements(water is the big one). The seperation of hydrogen from those compounds is what makes collection difficult, and why its NOT dirt cheap to do so.

Cellors

Hydrogen can be created using solar power , with zero greenhouse gas produced..This can be done @ home today PLUG POWER .inc
(Home fueling is supplied with each FCX.)
http://world.honda.com/FuelCell/FCX/station/

The fuel station can also create hydrogen from ones home NG line.

I'll take an FCX..no problem ..give the fuel cell 100 years of time on the planet (like the I.C.E has had) and lets see what's what baby...

rexis

"Posted by: Anonymous | Jul 13, 2006 11:19:26 AM"

No you are not making any facts right, especially the "Hydrogen is one of the most abundant gas in world" part. Why is it wrong? Ask around, or try to do more useful research rather then reading those worthless business magazine or news reports that know almost nothing about science.

arjit

pls can i hav a look a pic of fcx's engine

if posible send it on my e-id

katie-did

This has all the details on the engine. There's a link on the main page of a PDF with all the really technical stuff. http://world.honda.com/FuelCell/FCX/overview/

I don't really know enough about the technology to say much; however, I do know that hydrogen is not that abundant (as h2). Remember chemistry class! Hydrogen has only one valence electron so it bonds to almost anything (if I remember correctly. it's been a while).

I really like the idea of a speedy quiet car that doesn't run on gas though...

E-101

PEMFCs use a platinum catalyst, which is very expensive, and despite billions of dollars of R&D efforts to reduce the amount required, it has proven impossible to cut the cost of such systems below about $7,000/kW. This is very unfortunate, because an electric car with a 100-horsepower motor needs about 75 kilowatts of electricity to make it go. At this price, the cost for just the fuel cell stack powering the car would be about half a million dollars. Actual costs for complete Ballard fuel cell engine systems have been well over a million dollars each. Then there’s still the rest of the car to pay for, although with the propulsion system costing this much, the additional cost would seem like a rounding error.

That, however, is not even the worst of it. Operating under road conditions in the real atmosphere, which contains such powerful catalyst poisons (chemicals that will reduce the effectiveness of the fuel cell) as sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, carbon monoxide, and ammonia that can permanently incapacitate a PEMFC, the operating lifetimes of fuel cell stacks have been shown to be less than 20 percent those of conventional diesel engines. As the trenchant industry analyst F. David Doty pointedly put it:

"We’re still waiting to see a fuel-cell vehicle driven from Miami to Maine via the Smoky Mountains in the winter—even one time, with a few stops and restarts in Maine. Then, we need to see one hold up to a forty-minute daily commute for more than two years (preferably at least fifteen years) with minimal maintenance, and come through a highway accident with less than $200,000 in damages.... When lifetime and maintenance are considered, one can argue that vehicle-qualified PEMFCs are currently 400 times more expensive than diesel engines."

It is true that the costs of PEMFC might conceivably be reduced over time due to technology improvements (although no real cost reduction has been achieved over the past decade despite several billion dollars in research investment). Moreover, if somehow the vehicles ever went into mass production, increased demand would drive the price of the platinum they contain, and thus the overall system cost, through the roof.

Furthermore, despite all their cost and hype, the fuel cell vehicles themselves offer no increase in efficiency relative to more conventional systems. (In this context, “efficiency” means the percentage of energy in the fuel that is spent on actual work rather than wasted.) While the theoretical efficiency of a hydrogen/oxygen fuel cell approaches 85 percent, the actual efficiency of real PEMFC stacks using hydrogen and air near maximum output (where they must operate, because fuel cell capacity is so expensive) is about 38 percent. If we then factor in an estimated efficiency for the power electronics of 92 percent and a real-world motor efficiency of 85 percent, we obtain an estimate of about 30 percent efficiency for a fuel-cell vehicle. Ordinary internal combustion engine cars can already match this, with systems offering up to 38 percent efficiencies well in sight. Conventional diesel engines operate today at about 42 percent efficiency. With variable valve timing, they should be able to attain 58 percent efficiency. That’s nearly twice the efficiency offered by a fuel cell vehicle, at 1/400th the cost.

steve

Researth
- buy a hydrogen generator for your home.$30,000.00 Energy Efficency = 50 percent.This means to me if i generate $1000.00 of solar and wind energy,i can convert that into $500.00 worth of hydrogen energy.

Account Deleted

i want the formula details of convertion of water into hydogen and oxygen?

Account Deleted

i am very happy about this types of cars.This cars makeing enviorment greenly and polutionfree.I am very exited about this cars.I am a 20 years old colledge student and i like scince.And also crezy about neu innovations.Now i am research on air pressure cars.

so, thanks And get me tips on my innovation.

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