Honda’s new hydrogen-powered SUV is coming to the US in 2024

Honda is clarifying the future of its hydrogen fuel cell vehicle in the US. The new model will be built at Honda’s Performance Manufacturing Center in Marysville, Ohio. Honda has previously said battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and FCEVs will represent 100 percent of global car sales by 2040.

“Hydrogen fuel cells have great potential to change the game from an environmental and technological perspective, but unfortunately little attention has been paid to the development of hydrogen products and infrastructure. Instead, the industry has turned to battery electric vehicles as the way forward and that’s where the majority of the focus on development and buildout is,” said Paul Waatti, industry analysis manager at AutoPacific. News week. “For consumers moving from ICE to pure EV, some substantial changes are needed on the consumer side.

Hydrogen, on the other hand, brings little behavioral change from ICE ownership. Fueling times and driving character are similar to ICE vehicles, not not to mention exhaust emissions are literally water,” he said.

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Honda will introduce a hydrogen fuel cell CR-V in 2024.
Honda Motor Co., Ltd.

Honda will introduce a hydrogen fuel cell CR-V in 2024.
Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
Ohio Honda Performance Manufacturing Center
PMC is where Honda produced the Acura NSX Type S.
Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
Honda Performance Production Center
Honda’s PMC is located in Marysville, Ohio.
Honda Motor Co., Ltd.

Fuel cell vehicles have a high-pressure hydrogen tank instead of a gasoline tank, which generates electricity in fuel cells to power the electric motor, moving the vehicle without carbon dioxide or other harmful emissions. The new Honda FCEV will also be North America’s first production vehicle to combine a hydrogen powertrain and plug-in capability.

This works similar to how current plug-in hybrid electric vehicles work, where an owner charges the battery for city trips from a traditional plug or charger, while the car only uses the hydrogen for longer journeys. This is not the first round for Honda. It created the Clarity sedan in 2008.

It was only available for lease in Southern California, where hydrogen infrastructure is better established than the rest of the country. The Clarity came with a 100-kilowatt hydrogen fuel cell stack that put out 134 horsepower and 189 pound-feet of torque. It had a range of 240 miles on a single full tank.

The second generation of the hydrogen car ran from 2016 to 2021, was also only sold in California and had a range of 386 kilometers. In 2017, Honda introduced a plug-in hybrid version with a combined range of 340 miles.

2023 Honda CR-V
The 2023 Honda CR-V will be offered with a hybrid powertrain.
American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

Honda has a long timeline of fuel cell improvements, including the first EPA and CARB certified fuel cell vehicle in 2002. It had the world’s first production fuel cell vehicle, which was introduced the same year.

It was the first to use a fuel cell vehicle in sub-zero temperatures and in 2005 had the first FCEV to be leased to a customer. Honda was the first automaker to establish a fuel cell vehicle dealer network in 2008. In 2013, it entered into a long-term partnership with General Motors to co-develop next-generation fuel cell systems and hydrogen storage technologies. announced a second deal in 2017, aimed at mass production of lower cost, compact and powerful fuel cell systems.

Honda isn’t the only manufacturer interested in FCEVs. Euisun Chung, executive chairman of Hyundai, is co-chair of the global Hydrogen Council. The company sells the Hyundai Nexo fuel cell electric SUV in the US

BMW is also openly gauging interest in hydrogen-powered SUVs and bringing X5s to the European market for further testing.

In addition, Toyota and Hyundai have tested the use of hydrogen-powered tractors, which are designed to reduce emissions in truck-heavy areas, such as the Port of Long Beach in California. Further tests are taking place with heavy trucks in the European Union. “The biggest problem for a vehicle like this is a general lack of current hydrogen fueling options in the United States.

For all the potential benefits that hydrogen can offer, the technology is far from mainstream,” said Waatti. “Hydrogen infrastructure is almost non-existent outside of California, and even there it’s abysmal.

Until significant progress is made in infrastructure, Honda’s FCEV will have a limited audience, but from a technology and efficiency standpoint, it’s an intriguing option.”

Honda says more details about its new offering will be announced closer to the new vehicle’s 2024 launch, including where it will be sold.