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Honda Says Mass Production Fuel Cell Vehicle Coming by 2020

2016 Honda FCV Concept 40 photos
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At the beginning of the year, Honda's FCV Concept took center stage during the Detroit Auto Show. At the time, the Japanese company officially announced that production was going to start in 2016. But, it seems the initial batch is destined for the domestic market while full-scale assembly of the FCV will take place sometime between now and 2020.

Even if EV sales have been declining in the US, Japanese car companies are still investing into green transportation solutions. Considering the best selling models there are hybrids, that's not surprising. Not wanting to fall behind Toyota and its Mirai, Honda will begin assembly of its own FCV next year.

It will look essentially the same as the concept car, with a few alterations made to the body for cost reasons.

However, the rest of the world may not be ready to adopt hydrogen as fuel yet, so Honda will take until 2020 to launch full-scale production. No precise numbers were given, but speaking to British magazine Autocar, Honda's head of powertrain development Thomas Brachmann said they want more than just 250 - 1,000 units annually.

This is an obvious challenge to rival company Toyota, which can only make a few Mirai models at a time in the factory that used to assembly the Lexus LFA supercar.

Fuel cell cars work by turning hydrogen into water. This in turn releases electrons that are used to power the electric motor like a conventional EV. Honda's car is said to be able to drive 300 miles (483 kilometers) on a single tank, not in the laboratory, but in the real world. Considering that a full change of the tank takes only 3 minutes, this could be a far more practical solution even than the Tesla Model S.

Honda has made huge strides in the development of this technology. For instance, the fuel stack has been shrunk by 30%, but its electric power output has increased. The tank is stored entirely under the hood, unlike on the FCX Clarity, Honda's current hydrogen car, which has it in the tunnel, between the seats. The company might also launch a hydrogen-powered maxi scooter in the future.

 
 
 
 
 

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