There is a future in hydrogen fuel cells: at least, Honda thinks so. The Japanese brand has not only set a date for the Honda CR-V that will be driven with this system, it has also announced what plans for the future do you have for him… and for other sectors of the motor world, which include commercial vehicles and those intended for the world of construction.
Hydrogen is not new to Honda. In fact, it was one of the first brands to launch a fuel cell vehicle: in 2008 we met the Honda Clarity Fuel Cell, which is no longer manufactured. Now they are recovering that path despite the fact that, a year ago, Toshihiro Mibe, president of the company, assured that “it is not feasible” to use hydrogen in cars.
A hydrogen Honda CR-V
A few words that draw attention if we take into account that Honda has confirmed that, in 2024, it will launch a hydrogen electric vehicle based on the Honda CR-V: for now, it will only reach the Japanese and North American markets. This fuel cell system stems from joint development with General Motors, which began in 2013. According to Honda, this technology costs a third less and is twice as durable as the Honda Clarity Fuel Cell.
Honda has already explained that it will be the first vehicle in the industry to combine hydrogen fuel cell technology with the capability of a plug-in hybrid vehicle. It will be equipped with a lithium-ion battery with enough range for daily commutes or short trips: just like a plug-in hybrid or an electric car, it can be recharged at any charging point. For longer trips, you’ll have a range extender that looks like a current plug-in hybrid, but with one key difference: instead of a gasoline engine, it will use a hydrogen-powered fuel cell.
By the middle of this decade, Honda plans to sell about 2,000 units per year with this type of propulsion. Subsequently, the goal is to expand that figure in phases, reaching 60,000 within seven years and “several hundred thousand” by the second half of the 2030s. This year is marked in red because, by then, lThe Japanese brand hopes to have a fuel cell that costs half the cost and doubles the durability of the system developed jointly with GM. So much so that they claim that the price per vehicle could be comparable to that of a diesel.
Commercial vehicles and much more
There is room in Honda’s plans for more hydrogen vehicles: commercial ones are also on the horizon. In China they are already testing a platform with Dongfeng and in Japan, Honda is working with Isuzu to shape a truck that they will start testing on the road during the first quarter of 2024. It also intends to introduce the fuel cell in the construction industry, applying it, first, to excavators and wheel loaders.
Another of Honda’s plans is to create emergency plants, those in charge of supplying backup electricity when the main source does not work, equipped with a fuel cell. They want, at the same time, to take hydrogen into space and for this, they are working with the National Agency for Space Development of Japan.