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.
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.
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.