Honda is planning to mass-produce hydrogen fuel cell cars by 2020.
The Japanese manufacturer's FCV was revealed at the Geneva motor show in March and was described as a late-stage concept.
“It’s relatively close to the production car,” said Thomas Brachmann, head of powertrain development at Honda. “We may need to revise some body parts, but it’s very close.”
Brachmann wouldn’t be drawn on how many FCVs the firm intended to produce but said it didn’t want to distribute just 250 to 1000 cars a year.
There are hurdles still to be overcome, such as the infrastructure required to refuel the cars, but Honda believes the technology has its place. “Norway, for example, was focusing on electric cars two years ago, but now they want something with a longer range,” said Brachmann.
The zero-emissions FCV has a range of about 300 miles and be refuelled in five minutes, but Brachmann estimates that it will be 10 to 15 years before the technology is widely accepted.
“This is likely unless we change the marketing strategy and also society, in which case it might be faster,” he said. “But we are prepared to have a wide powertrain mix over time until everyone appreciates and accepts fuel cell electric vehicles.”
Get the latest car news, reviews and galleries from Autocar direct to your inbox every week. Enter your email address below: