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Honda Affirms Commitment to Hydrogen Fuel Cells, Sees Them as the 'Next Phase' After Electric Vehicle Boom

19 Jan 2024

Honda, one of the automotive industry's major players, has declared its continued investment in hydrogen fuel cell technology for vehicles, emphasizing its potential as the 'next phase' following the widespread adoption of electric vehicles (EVs).

Hydrogen-Powered Future for Honda

In a strategic move, Honda aims to have 100% of its sales represented by either electric or hydrogen-powered vehicles by 2040. The company, in collaboration with Isuzu, is actively working on the development of a new hydrogen vehicle, the Giga Fuel Cell, with plans for testing underway and a targeted rollout by 2027.

Honda's Vision Beyond the EV Era

Inoue Katsushi, head of Honda's electrification efforts and President of Honda Motor Europe, expressed his vision, stating, "What I have in my mind is that the [battery] EV era comes first, and the next phase is fuel cell cars." Katsushi acknowledges that the fuel cell era might take some time, indicating a strategic approach in the post-EV landscape.

Hydrogen Fuel Cells for Commercial Vehicles

While optimism for hydrogen fuel cells in passenger cars may take time, there is a growing belief in their applicability for heavier vehicles like Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs). Katsushi highlighted the expansion of fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) powertrains for commercial vehicles, acknowledging that it will require some time for widespread adoption.

Honda's Clarity FCV and Future Technology

Honda already has a hydrogen vehicle in its fleet, the Clarity FCV, which boasts an impressive range of 366 miles and emits only water vapor as an output. Katsushi noted that the brand's next generation of fuel cell technology will be competitive, emphasizing Honda's commitment to advancing sustainable solutions.

Global Shift Towards Hydrogen Infrastructure

As Honda looks toward a future where hydrogen plays a pivotal role, countries and major organizations are actively working on expanding hydrogen refueling infrastructure to support the broader uptake of fuel cell vehicles. This aligns with a global trend where companies are rethinking energy use, focusing on electrification and hydrogen to achieve a low-emission and sustainable future.

The move towards hydrogen is not unique to Honda, as other major players, including Bosch, are investing in hydrogen technologies to contribute to decarbonization efforts. This collective shift reflects a multifaceted approach to address global energy needs efficiently and sustainably.

This strategic move by Honda showcases the industry's anticipation of hydrogen's role in the evolving automotive landscape, positioning it as a key player in the 'next phase' beyond the electric vehicle boom.

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