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Tokyo show: Honda debuts production FCV

Cell mates: Honda has yet to reveal where the production FCV will be sold or leased, but it will join a growing number zero-emissions vehicles around the world.

Honda pushes on with hydrogen race and second production fuel-cell model

Honda logo1 Oct 2015

By DANIEL GARDNER

HONDA has taken another zero-emission step toward its next hydrogen-fuelled model, with the production version of its FCV concept rolling out under its own steam – literally – at the Tokyo motor show later this month.

The angular electric concept first surfaced last year, revealing a vehicle that uses a fuel-cell stack to produce about 100kW of power from its electric motor but emits only water vapour.

Honda is sticking with the FCV name that christened the concept for now, but is yet to decide if the production version will adopt a new name or carry on the family tradition.

Little technical detail has been revealed in the short press release, but the production car reportedly has a similar range to the FCV showcar which could travel about 700km on a single tank.

Its “high-output” motors make “exhilarating driving” a possibility and while no power output is specified, the 100kW power of the concept is likely to have increased as is typical with early and emerging technologies.

In addition to a mode of transport, the FCV can be turned into a mobile electricity generator, providing a power output for communities in emergency situations thanks to its power inverter.

The Japanese car-maker introduced a four-door hydrogen/electric car named the FCX Clarity in 2008, but it was sold in limited numbers and limited markets.

While a handful of global regions have already put their hand up for the car, it is too early for Honda Australia to make a decision regarding the possibility FCV sales Down Under.

Honda Australia public relations manager Melissa Cross told GoAuto there was a lot of work required beyond just a feasible vehicle before we see a hydrogen vehicle for sale here.

“The broader issues are a completely different issue,” she said. “For us, there's not a lot of infrastructure in this country so we are always really keen to see what's been developed in other countries.”“Honda has been developing this technology for a long time so we are always interested to see what's happening in this space.”

Rivals Hyundai and Toyota already have fuel-cell vehicles in circulation around the world with the Korean car-maker producing an ix35 Fuel Cell that is available for lease in the United States or for sale in parts of Europe.

There is one example of the ix35 Fuel Cell in Australia for evaluation purposes, but there are no plans to offer it for sale here given it is produced in left-hand drive only. The company is more optimistic about its next hydrogen-fuelled model, however, after confirming that it will be built in right-hand drive.

Toyota has developed its own fuel-cell vehicle in the Mirai – meaning 'future' in Japanes – which is currently on a short visit to Australia for a hydrogen convention and is sold in Japan and parts of Europe and the US.

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