Honda previews new fuel cell vehicle with 300-mile range

By Shawn Knight ยท 14 replies
Oct 27, 2015
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  1. Honda is planning to unveil its new fuel cell vehicle at the Tokyo Motor Show on Wednesday; a day ahead of the big reveal, the company invited journalists to its Research and Development Center outside the city for a sneak peek.

    Known tentatively as the FCV, the four-door sedan’s fuel cell system is now small enough to fit under the hood. It takes up no more space than a typical V6 engine, Forbes notes. It relies on two hydrogen storage tanks – a smaller one under the rear seat and a larger one behind the rear bulkhead that cuts into trunk space.

    The vehicle’s lithium-ion battery, meanwhile, resides under the front seats.

    Filled to the brim with just shy of five kilograms of hydrogen, the car is rated to travel a little over 300 miles based on the EPA’s rating system. A refill takes just three minutes although finding a hydrogen station won’t be easy early on.

    This isn’t Honda’s first fuel cell-powered vehicle. The FCX Clarity, which entered production in 2008 before reaching end-of-life status this year, was much more expensive to manufacture, less efficient and less powerful. Ultimately, the company built less than 75 units.

    Honda’s latest doesn’t go on sale until late next year. No word yet on pricing or potential availability although Honda did say it plans to build up to 1,200 vehicles a year.

    All images courtesy Top Gear

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  2. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 1,868   +1,287

    The generation that comes </I>after</I> this one will become the standard, assuming the liberal nutjobs don't do what they usually do and stand in the way of the only logical solution..
  3. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,713   +855

    The steering wheel is on the wrong side. ;)
    dms96960 and Lionvibez like this.
  4. umbala

    umbala TS Maniac Posts: 197   +176

    I doubt hydrogen based systems will ever supplant electric cars. We have many ways to generate electricity. Some methods are cheap, some not so much. But there is no cheap way to generate hydrogen, let alone LIQUID hydrogen needed by these cars. Hydrogen based fuels are likely to remain orders of magnitude more expensive than anything based on electricity.
  5. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,713   +3,691

    Yeah the price of that hydrogen canister needed to go 300 miles was what I wanted to know. Availability already makes it a no go. I'm assuming the price (as you also say) would make it even worse.
  6. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,182   +469

    There is a hydrogen fuel station near my house. Although I've never seen a vehicle using it yet when I've driven by, it's brightly lit.
  7. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,274

    No it's not, it must be your eyes. ;)
    Burty117 and Arris like this.
  8. You guys may not really know what hydrogen is or how it's generated. Simply put, it's simply generated and is low cost....and you just need 1 ingredient - water.

    I've always imagined hydrogen being the bridge between ICE and Electric; but that's only due to difficulty in finding good material to store/release the hydrogen. If there were to be an advancement in that department, nothing could compare with hydrogen, not even electric.
  9. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,887   +1,223

    Just water huh? And then what? you just say 'please' to the oxygen and it gives up the hydrogen? or will we need a whole ton of electricity for the required electrolysis? And we'd need distilled water, not that stuff that comes from the rivers, lakes, oceans and city taps.

    Maybe it's not so easy, which is why today industrial hydrogen is produced from natural gas instead of water.

    Yes, EVs need charging, but that's a technological problem, and technology is pretty good at doing things faster. And for those of us who park a car in a garage every night and plug in, we'd never see the charge go below 75%.

    I wonder if these FCVs are for the markets of the world where a single hydrogen station could service a TON of people. Like a city in Japan for example, or a small country like Israel, where you can't drive very far due to borders. in the US, we have different requirements, and once they figure out how to charge an EV in 10 mins or less the FCV will become obsolete overnight.
  10. Badvok

    Badvok TS Addict Posts: 173   +64

    It'll never take off. What we need is some way to store energy in a very compact form that is stable and safe to store at typical earth surface temperatures - I know let's call it petrol for short!

    Now all we need to do is find a way of producing it instead of digging/pumping it out from under the ground. Strangely enough, those countries that rely massively on digging/pumping it out from under the ground and selling it to us also typically have large amounts of solar energy capacity, aka vast deserts. If only we were friendly with them we could perhaps persuade them to switch to solar powered hydro-carbon production.
  11. bazz2004

    bazz2004 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,585   +250

    It's great that the Japanese motor corporations are developing alternative power sources. In Japan motorists drive on the same side of the road as I do so the steering wheel is located correctly. The prices of these early vehicles are more in line with the deep pockets of American motorists than mine though. I'm sure most of us would love a Tesla and hopefully electric powered vehicles whether plug-ins or developing power from hydrogen cells will displace the obsolete technology of the conventional internal compustion engine. I hope that the US automotive industry gets seriously interested too rather than doing everything it can to hold back progress and then when they fail try to take over the successful overseas manufacturers. Or maybe it'll be the Chinese who beat them to the draw.

    IAMTHESTIG TS Evangelist Posts: 1,255   +454

    I hope we get this kind of fast charging but it may not. Then what?
  13. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,887   +1,223

    Then EVs will never be a primary car. There are many households in the US with two cars. And if EVs can't charge fast, they'll never be able to be counted on as a primary car, they'll only ever be used for errands and commuting, not for trips or vacations.

    Charging time aside, they'll grow in popularity IF they are a similar cost as an ICE car. EVs offer other benefits besides zero emissions and no gasoline costs. They have awesome acceleration, they're very quiet, there are fewer parts to break (no transmission), more storage (front and rear trunks), less maintenance (no oil changes or fluid flushes or belts to swap etc), instant-on heat in the winter.... I can't imagine people wouldn't pay a small premium for those benefits if the only downside is they have to plug it in at night. They can still use their other car for a trip if needed.

    Look at the history of the gasoline car.... in 1975 the avg MPG of a sedan was 22 MPG, today it's 35 MPG. that's 59% more distance out of the same gallon of gas. EV's will follow a similar pattern. They'll put solar panels on the roof, regeneration in the shocks, refinement in the consumption, and a bunch of stuff we don't know about yet. You think anyone would have considered a 6-speed continuous variable transmission in 1986? Now they come in cars for $20,000. Tesla already has extended mileage using just over-the-air software updates.

    For kids in 2040 putting gas in a car that you drive yourself will be as strange as dialing a rotary phone that's connected to the wall is to kids today.

    IAMTHESTIG TS Evangelist Posts: 1,255   +454

    Well maybe I'm a pessimist (ok I am) but I just don't think we are going to get electric cars to ever be a primary vehicle for the majority of the population. I really think hydrogen is the way to go. I get the distinct impression none of the big players really want to make it happen though. And if the big players don't want it to happen, it wont.

    Tesla has been the biggest, most successful push toward getting people into EV's and hydrogen wont start to become even a partially viable option until a company like Tesla comes along for hydrogen powered cars.
  15. bazz2004

    bazz2004 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,585   +250

    It'll happen and the question is how long it's going to take not if. Apart from Tesla the US has contributed about nothing to the evolution of the car. The newest tech is being developed in the Far East and that's a good thing.

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