Honda Previews Upcoming FCV, EV, PHEV In Detroit

Honda didn’t launch any production models at Detroit’s annual North American International Auto Show. Instead, the company used the opportunity to talk about its three-year plan for alternative-fuel technology with a preview of one of its prototypes.

On display – alongside a small-scale replica of the HondaJet and a real Honda-powered Formula One racecar – was a concept car modeling Honda’s next generation of fuel cell electric vehicles (FCVs). It will be replacing the hydrogen-powered Honda FCX Clarity, a mid-size sedan in production from 2008 to 2014.

John Mendel, Executive Vice President, Automobile Division, American Honda Motor Co., Inc. talks about the Honda FCV Concept during the Honda press conference at the 2015 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, MI on Jan., 13.

John Mendel, Executive Vice President, Automobile Division, American Honda Motor Co., Inc. talks about the Honda FCV Concept during the Honda press conference at the 2015 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, MI on Jan., 13.

According to Honda, this FCV concept uses a fuel cell stack that is more compact and more powerful than the FXC Clarity’s, with the ability to refuel in 3 minutes at a pressure of 70 MPa. The new FCV will also be able to travel farther than the FXC Clarity, with a range of more than 300 miles (versus the precursor’s 240-mile range). The five-passenger sedan is scheduled to officially launch in 2016.

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Honda also revealed plans to grow its alternative energy lineup with a new plug-in-hybrid and a new battery-electric vehicle. Both are expected to be introduced by 2018, but no further details were offered on either.

As part of its long-range vision, Honda said it will be looking for other ways to incorporate its two- and three-motor hybrid systems in order to meet the company’s goals to create “ultra-low carbon transportation.” Honda gave no other hints about how this will translate to upcoming models.