The Honda FCV Concept, Honda’s latest fuel-cell vehicle concept, made its world debut today in Japan. The Honda FCV Concept showcases the styling evolution of Honda’s fuel-cell vehicle anticipated to launch in Japan by March of 2016, followed by the US and Europe. Honda also unveiled the Honda Power Exporter Concept, a concept model for an external power feeding device that enables AC power output from the FCV with maximum output of 9 kW.
Honda had introduced an earlier version, the FCEV concept, at the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show. (Earlier post.) The Honda FCV Concept features a low and wide aerodynamic body with clean character lines. The interior takes advantage of new powertrain packaging efficiencies delivering more passenger space than its predecessor, the FCX Clarity (earlier post), including seating for up to five people.
|Honda FCV Concept. Click to enlarge.|
Honda’s next-generation fuel-cell vehicle launching in 2016 applies a fuel-cell powertrain that fits completely within the front engine compartment of the vehicle, allowing for efficiencies in cabin space as well as flexibility in the potential application of fuel-cell technology to multiple vehicle models in the future.
Significant technological advancements to the fuel-cell stack have yielded more than 100kW of power output. The power density is now 3.1 kW/L, an increase of 60%, with the stack size reduced 33% compared to the Honda FCX Clarity. The next-generation Honda FCV is targeted to deliver a driving range of more than 300 miles (483 km) with a quick refueling time of about three to five minutes at a pressure of 70 MPa.
In addition to the FCV and external power feeding device, Honda will further promote the application of the Smart Hydrogen Station (SHS)—a packaged hydrogen station unit that adopts Honda’s original high-differential-pressure electrolyzer.
Since the introduction of its first generation fuel-cell vehicle, the FCX, in 2002, Honda has made significant technological advancements in fuel-cell vehicle operation in both hot and sub-freezing weather while meeting customer expectations and safety regulations.
Honda has deployed vehicles in the US and Japan, including the FCX Clarity, which was named the 2009 World Green Car. Honda has delivered these vehicles to individual retail consumers in the US and collected valuable feedback concerning real-world use of both fuel-cell vehicles and public hydrogen stations.
Honda’s current fuel-cell vehicle, the FCX Clarity, launched in July 2008. With the V-flow fuel cell stack positioned in the center tunnel of the vehicle and the electric motor located down low in the front of the vehicle, Honda was able to maintain the Clarity’s futuristic styling while allowing for 240 miles of driving range.
In the effort to speed the advance of a refueling infrastructure outside of California, in May 2013, American Honda joined the public-private partnership H2USA, which brings together automakers, government agencies, hydrogen suppliers, and the hydrogen and fuel-cell industries to coordinate research and identify cost-effective solutions to deploy infrastructure that can deliver affordable, clean hydrogen fuel in the United States.
In June 2013, Honda entered into a long-term collaborative agreement with General Motors to co-develop the next-generation of fuel-cell systems and hydrogen storage technologies, aiming for the 2020 timeframe. The collaboration expects to succeed by sharing technological expertise, economies of scale and other benefits.
In an effort to support the wider introduction of fuel-cell vehicles, Honda will also make an announcement at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show this week about its commitment to help expand and accelerate California’s public hydrogen refueling station network.