Currently reading: Honda: 'fuel-cells are the future'
Honda president tells reporters at Geneva that fuel-cell-powered cars are the future of mobility
Autocar
News
2 mins read
3 March 2010

Honda believes that fuel-cell-powered cars, and not hybrids or electric cars, are the ultimate mobility solution of the future.

This is according to its president Takanobu Ito, who was speaking at the CR-Z’s unveiling at the Geneva motor show.

Ito said that the firm would continue to offer a range of low CO2 powertrains for the future, but it would ultimately by fuel-cell vehicles, such as its FCX Clarity, that become the volume sellers in the future.

"We will continue to offer mobility solutions with low associated co2 emissions,” said Ito. "We believe that fuel cell cars are the ultimate solution. We have recently produced a solar powered hydrogen refining unit without a compressor that’s 25 per cent more efficient than previous units. Ideal for home use, so you won't need to buy hydrogen elsewhere."

Ito also confirmed there would be a Jazz hybrid in Europe in early 2011, to make Honda’s hybrid line-up threefold. The CR-Z is its latest hybrid model.

"The CR-Z is for people who want fun to drive spirit as well as low emissions. There will have three mode driving system for driver to choose between sporty driving, everyday driving and economy driving.”

Ito’s comments are in contrast to Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn, who believes it is electric cars that will provide mobility in the future. His firm is launching four mass-market electric cars in the next two years.

“We want to stretch the boundaries of what is valuable or even possible, whether through an innovative and very competitive global compact car, or the world's first affordable, mass-marketed zero-emission car,” Ghosn told reporters at Geneva.

“We expect annual sales of our global compact cars to top one million units in 2013.”

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every thing you... 4 March 2010

Re: Honda: 'fuel-cells are the future'

ThwartedEfforts wrote:

Hearing Honda claim that 'fuel-cells are the future' is like hearing James Dyson say that 'dual cyclone bagless vacuum cleaners are the future'.

I mean, is this news? What does 'in the future' mean exactly? How soon can we expect cars like the FCX Clarity in showrooms when estimates put the cost of each one made today at around £0.5m?

Like you I'm always sceptical when manufacturers claim the route they're persuing is going to be the next big thing.

To be fair to Honda they've done as much as anyone for piston engine development, they were first to market with a mass produced hybrid, and they continue to develop and manufacture both of these at least as well as anyone else. On this basis and the fact that so much of their business outside of the car industry is tied to piston engines I make their claim that hydrogen fuel cells are the future to be a pretty bold move.

As far as costs are concerned, of course no-one would pay half a mil for a family hatchback that's why Honda have loaned or leased them to selected customers. These sort of figures are only to be expected until the technology proves itself to be viable and they can throw their full weight behind it and start to look at economies of scale. The biggest hurdle any of these alternative propulsion methods face is the overwhelming development and costs lavished on the 4 stroke piston engine over the last 100 years or so. To get as far as they have done so far is majorly impressive.

I'm not saying I disagree with all of what you say or that I'm totally convinced that Honda have hit the jackpot with this. I love a decent engine about as much as it's healthy to but the tide is going to turn and all the indications suggest this will be sooner rather than later.

I really can't imagine Honda would make public comments like this without convincing themselves first.

ThwartedEfforts 4 March 2010

Re: Honda: 'fuel-cells are the future'

Hearing Honda claim that 'fuel-cells are the future' is like hearing James Dyson say that 'dual cyclone bagless vacuum cleaners are the future'.

I mean, is this news? What does 'in the future' mean exactly? How soon can we expect cars like the FCX Clarity in showrooms when estimates put the cost of each one made today at around £0.5m?

For that I'd rather have a second-hand Veyron.

rosstopher 4 March 2010

Re: Honda: 'fuel-cells are the future'

coolboy wrote:
anyway, Honda is the biggest engine producer (5 millions of them) ... what engines, pall?

A lot of those engines are for boats, lawnmowers etc.