Honda Motor Co. thinks it will be able to mass produce fuel-cell vehicles for the general market by 2018, Honda President Takeo Fukui said in a recent interview with Kyodo News.
Honda plans to begin leasing a hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle based on its FCX Concept in Japan and the United States in 2008. The stack in the current FCX Concept delivers 100 kW of power, and the vehicle has a range of 560 kilometers (350 miles). (Earlier post.)
By evolving a next model based on this, I think the level of technology will become very close to that of mass-produced ordinary vehicles within 10 years or so. In 2018, I believe the development [of a fuel-cell car] will have been very advanced. It will become a real possibility to a large degree.—Takeo Fukui
Fukui told Kyodo that there will be many customers who want to buy a Honda fuel-cell car if it goes on sale for ¥10 million (US$84,000) in the general market. Estimates peg the price of current fuel cell cars at more than 10 times that figure.
Challenges that still need to overcome before mass production is possible for Honda include reducing the amount of noble metals used for fuel cells, improving hydrogen storage and lower-cost production of hydrogen, according to Fukui.