Small number of FCEV demonstrators to be leased to potential customers from 2016, while Honda plans to produce fuel-cell cars in volume by 2020

A fleet of Honda's next-generation FCEVs (fuel cell electric vehicle) will be coming to the UK.

Although the semi-experimental fuel cell car is likely only to arrive in small numbers, Honda's European fuel cell project engineer Thomas Brachmann says the company will introduce the production version of the latest FCEV concept "to Germany and the UK in early 2016." That will follow the car’s introduction to Japan and the US in 2015.

Up to 2000 demonstrator units of the FCEV will be built worldwide, with those cars being leased to customers. That approach was also taken with Honda's hydrogen-powered FCX Clarity.

Although prices for the FCEV have not been revealed, the technical aims of the new programme  "are to improve the consistency of stack quality in volume production and reduce the quantity of precious metals it uses," says Brachmann. In terms of making fuel cell cars cost-competitive "we’re making good progress, but have not reached our cost target. If we can succeed in (making it) in high volume by 2020, we’ll be well on the way."

Equally challenging is the cost of installing fuel cell stations, which can cost up to £400,000. "But it’s still much cheaper than installing electric networks across a country," says Brachmann. Honda already has a fuel cell station at its Swindon plant, and anticipates there being 65 stations in the UK by 2015 as part of the H2 Mobility initiative. There are currently 12 active hydrogen filling stations in the UK.

The FCEV concept was revealed at the LA motor show in November last year. Honda says the car represents the world's first fuel-cell powertrain to be packaged within a conventional engine space, which it says allows for considerable space and weight savings. The FCEV has a claimed range of more than 300 miles.

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12 March 2014
Seem to have alot of dates and number of cars to be build but no cost, I wonder why. Above all what will the advantage be for the consumer, certainly won't be running costs of 0.02p a mile like a plug-in.

Come back to me in 2020 when 50% of all cars have plug in capability

12 March 2014
There is not enough electricity in the UK to supply even 50% of the cars on the road. Extra capacity is not being created either. There is a struggle already to replace the closing nuclear power stations.

12 March 2014
Where will the electricty needed to obtain the hydrogen come from then?

If a single hydrogen station costs £400,000 to build why are Honda saying that it is much less than installing electricty infrastructure (which we already have)? I wonder how much it costs Tesla to build a supercharger station?

12 March 2014
Regardless of whether Honda has hit their cost targets and questions over infrastructure I'm thinking there are some more fundamental issues need discussing, like: do fuel cells even work? Outside of a theory paper and a one-off seven-figure concept can the technology be applied to mass-market vehicles in terms of cost and usability? Anytime soon?

12 March 2014
bomb wrote:

do fuel cells even work?

Giving demonstrator cars to customers seems like a good step on the way to finding out if they do work.

12 March 2014
I guess we'll find out in 2020. Whatever happened to the home generation systems honda published a few years back as an answer to refueling?

12 March 2014
The hydrogen will come from all over the world, in ships, just like petrol and diesel does.

13 March 2014
Personally I wouldn't bet against Honda on technical engineering. The real question is, can we develop a battery that can be recharged in 5 minutes. If we can do that then fuel cells are redundant.

Hydrogen allows us to work with our existing fueling methods and infrastructure.

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