Honda CR-V has made it clear that it still believes hydrogen is the future and has announced plans to increase its use as an alternative fuel source. The company has a long history with hydrogen, having made the first-generation Clarity fuel cell vehicle mainstream in 2008. However, the lack of infrastructure and high cost limited its success.
Honda and General Motors Collaborate on Fuel Cell Development
To tackle the cost issue, Honda has teamed up with General Motors to develop the next-generation fuel cell systems. This collaboration will cut the development cost by one-third and allow Honda to deploy its new fuel cell system in four core segments: FCEVs, commercial vehicles, power stations, and construction machinery.
Honda Introduces New Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle Honda CR-V
On the FCEV side, Honda will introduce an all-new model in 2024 in the USA and Japan based on the CR-V. The vehicle will have a plug-in function to recharge the battery, making it a combination of a battery and hydrogen-electric vehicle. The CR-V will be built at the Acura NSX assembly plant in Ohio, where the staff is already familiar with batteries and low-volume models.
Honda’s Plans for Commercial and Construction Vehicles
In the commercial sector, Honda is working with Isuzu to create a prototype fuel cell-powered heavy-duty truck. The company has already proven this to be a viable business model through its partnership with the Dongfeng Motor Group. In the construction segment, Honda will use its new fuel cells in excavators and wheel loaders. The company will work closely with construction industry associations and national and local governments to ensure a consistent hydrogen supply and set up new hydrogen ecosystems, including fueling stations.
Power Stations and Backup Systems
Honda’s plans for power stations are unique, as the company wants to get into the business of building backup power systems using fuel cell systems reclaimed from Clarities. The first step is to build a stationary fuel cell power station that produces 500 kW, to be located on Honda’s campus in California. The company will then roll out this technology to Honda factories and data centers worldwide.
With these plans in place, Honda is taking a proactive approach to increase the use of hydrogen as an alternative fuel source. The company is working in the background to ensure a consistent hydrogen supply and will work closely with national and local governments to set up new hydrogen ecosystems. If all goes well, the technology will take off and become a significant part of the future energy mix.