Honda has revealed a futuristic vision of its next hydrogen-powered vehicle at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

The FCEV Concept made its world debut yesterday, and Honda says it previews a “potential styling direction” for the company’s next-generation fuel cell vehicle.

The production vehicle will launch in the USA and Japan in 2015, and Honda hopes to bring it to Europe thereafter.

The company adds that it will feature the company’s first-ever fuel cell powertrain to be packaged entirely within the engine compartment, rather than spread through the car and hidden beneath the passenger compartment and boot floors.

This will allow for better packaging inside the car, and will show that fuel cell technology could be used in a multitude of different vehicle types in the future.

Honda says it’s managed to make significant technological advances in the fuel cell stack, which have yielded an increase in power density of over 60% while also allowing a reduction in size by 33%.

It also says that it anticipates the new car will be able to offer a range of around 300 miles with water as its only emission, but that it will also be able to be refuelled in around three minutes.

“The Honda FCEV Concept hints at Honda’s future direction for fuel-cell vehicles,” says Tetsuo Iwamura, president and CEO of American Honda. “While this car is a concept, it points toward a very real future.”

Honda has a history of pushing ahead with fuel cell technology. Its FCX Clarity was the first production four-seat fuel cell saloon car, and was leased to business and private individuals in the USA.

Before that, it produced the smaller FCX, a three-door hatchback, which was also leased to customers.

Leon Poultney


November 22, 2013