The Honda FCEV Concept, made its world debut November 21 at the Los Angeles International Auto Show.
Honda said the concept expresses a potential styling direction for Honda’s next-generation fuel-cell vehicle anticipated to launch in the U.S. and Japan in 2015, followed by Europe.
Honda explained its next generation fuel cell-electric vehicle will feature the world’s first application of a fuel-cell powertrain packaged completely in the engine room of the vehicle, allowing for efficiencies in cabin space as well as flexibility in the potential application of FC technology to multiple vehicle types in the future.
Significant technological advancements to the fuel-cell stack have yielded, said Honda, more than a 60 percent increase in power density while reducing the size of the stack by 33 percent compared to the FCX Clarity.
The new fuel-cell stack is anticipated to deliver a driving range of more than 300 miles with refueling times of about three minutes at a pressure of 70 MPa.
While featuring sweeping character lines, the Honda FCEV Concept lines are designed to create an ultra-aerodynamic body and ample passenger space with seating for five passengers.
“The Honda FCEV Concept hints at Honda’s future direction for fuel-cell vehicles,” said Tetsuo Iwamura, president and CEO of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “While this car is a concept, it points toward a very real future.”
Fuel-cells have been on Honda’s agenda for a while. Honda’s current fuel cell-electric vehicle, the FCX Clarity, launched in July 2008. With the V-flow fuel cell stack positioned down the centre of the vehicle and the electric motor located in the front of the vehicle, Honda was able to maintain the Clarity’s futuristic styling while delivering 240 miles of driving range.
In May 2013, to speed up the progress of establishing a refueling infrastructure, American Honda joined the public-private partnership H2USA, which brings together automakers, government agencies, gas 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 July 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 common sourcing strategies.