Future FCEVs, CVs, and construction machinery will be powered by hydrogen fuel cells
As part of Honda’s efforts to achieve carbon neutrality through all operations globally by 2050, the company is showing a prototype of its next-generation Hydrogen Fuel Cell System Module, developed jointly with General Motors.
Designed to offer exceptional durability and versatility across a wide range of applications, this compact and powerful system will be on display at the Brussels Expo from November 20-24 – including fuel cell vehicles (FCEV), commercial vehicles, construction equipment, and stationary power stations. At the Hydrogen Week Expo in Hall 7, Honda invites potential business and technology collaboration partners to visit stand I90 to learn more about Honda’s vision for expanding fuel cell applications.
To assist with the packaging phase and integration of the fuel cell system into development programs, Honda works with several companies developing products in the outlined application areas. Fuel cell sales will begin by the mid-2030s, in anticipation of commercial availability.
Honda Motor Europe is confident that hydrogen fuel cells will soon reach a critical mass for full commercial deployment due to the expertise of the company’s Deputy General Manager, Business Planning & Development, Ingo Nyhues.
According to a representative from the company, “The characteristics of our next-generation fuel cell system are well suited for meeting the pressing needs of several industries looking to transition rapidly to zero-emission power sources. A compact, powerful unit, its excellent durability, and its ability to provide rapid startup times – even in low-temperature conditions – make this unit highly versatile. Through our expertise in hydrogen research and development over the past three decades, we are ideally positioned to apply our technologies to these new sectors in Europe, and ultimately support the region’s net zero goal.”
With hydrogen’s unique characteristics, a fuel cell system can be particularly effective as a power source for large-scale mobility products and infrastructure that are heavily used, as well as mobility products that need to be refueled quickly when batteries cannot be used. Honda has identified four key areas in which its fuel cell system is suitable for use across the transportation and industrial sectors based on these characteristics.
Electric commercial vehicles and FCEVs
CR-V FCEV models will be introduced to North America and Japan in 2024 as Honda plans to begin selling these new models in North America and Japan.
Besides developing fuel cell solutions for heavy-duty commercial vehicles, it will also invest in developing clean, low-noise, low-vibration fuel cell solutions. As a result of this expansion, we are seeking sustainable powertrain technologies capable of transporting heavy cargo over long distances in the global haulage, freight, and logistics sectors.
The commercial launch of Isuzu Motors’ heavy-duty trucks will be a fuel cell system development and supply partnership between Honda Motor Company and Isuzu Motors, according to an announcement in May. Before the end of the current fiscal year (ending March 31, 2024), the two companies intend to begin demonstration testing of a prototype model on public roads. By leveraging the technology, experience, and knowledge gained by the companies’ joint research, the production model will be introduced to the market by the end of 2027.
In the field of construction machinery
To develop hydrogen solutions for construction machinery, Honda will work with the construction industry. By using its fuel cell systems on excavators and wheel loaders, the company will also contribute to the development of zero-emission construction machinery.
More than 30 years ago, Honda began developing hydrogen technology and FCEVs. The Honda FCX was released in 2002 and became the first zero-emission FCEV for lease in the United States and Japan. As a result of these advancements, the Honda FCX Clarity, introduced in 2008, and the Honda Clarity Fuel Cell sedan, introduced in 2016, were able to provide the same level of performance as conventional vehicles.
For Honda R&D Europe (Germany) to broaden its scope into the area of energy management, it has set up a green hydrogen production facility in Offenbach, Germany. By electrolyzing solar energy, this installation will generate green hydrogen from surplus solar energy.
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