Honda set to debut fuel cell EV in 2024

By Reetika Bhatt | on December 2, 2022 Follow us on Autox Google News

Owing to the shutdown of Honda's Noida facility, where the SUV and Civic were manufactured, the CR-V was discontinued in India back in December 2020.

In 2024, Honda will introduce an electric fuel cell vehicle based on its popular CR-V crossover. As part of its plan to go completely electric by 2040 and carbon neutral by 2050, the company announced that it will manufacture the CR-V model at its Performance Manufacturing Center (PMC) in Marysville, Ohio. For the uninitiated, fuel cells combine hydrogen and oxygen to produce electricity that propels the vehicle rather than a battery.

One of the first fuel cell technologies with plug-in functionality will be included in Honda's vehicle, enabling the driver to switch between using the onboard battery for shorter trips and a hydrogen supply for longer ones. The manufacturer didn't disclose the number of units it intends to produce, but it did mention that the facility specialises in small-volume vehicles. 

Fuel cells are known to have a distinct advantage over battery-powered vehicles as they can be refuelled in three to four minutes and can go farther before needing to recharge. The tech though is not prepared for widespread use. In comparison to EV chargers, the U.S. network of public hydrogen stations is concentrated in California and has a significantly shorter supply.

Over the past twenty years, Toyota, Honda and General Motors have all been working on fuel cell technology. The Mirai mid-size sedan from Toyota is set to enter its second generation. Honda, which introduced its first fuel cell car, the FCX, in 2002, has contributed more than 14 million U.S. dollars (₹1.14 crore) towards the development of the hydrogen refuelling infrastructure in California. Several other firms are also using hydrogen as part of their carbon neutralisation plans.

Honda now intends to swap out the petrol component of the new plug-in hybrid powertrain with a hydrogen unit for the CR-V's 2024 upgrade. Thus, the system will use fuel cells to provide supportive charge or power rather than the IC engine. Technically speaking, because the fuel-cell engine employs an electric motor for propulsion, the CR-V will become a genuine EV after the upgrade. 

As of now, Honda has not given any technical details on the fuel-cell hybrid powertrain, however, the precise numbers are expected to be revealed close to the CR-V EV's arrival in 2024. 

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Tags: Honda EV Fuel Cell

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