Honda has announced that it will build a new hydrogen fuel cell (FCEV) model that will be based on the new Honda CR-V. This new electric SUV will be manufactured in the United States, in one of the most specialized factories of the Japanese company, and will use a curious “dual” technology.
It is striking, at least, that Honda has opted for hydrogen technology after Honda’s CEO, Toshibiro Mibe, came to say that Toyota’s commitment to the hydrogen car was not feasible. More recently, Honda repositioned itself in favor of batteries as the best technology for reducing carbon emissions.
Perhaps for all this, the announcement of this new electric SUV with a hydrogen fuel cell, which will be based on the recently renewed Honda CR-V, may have been taken by surprise. That is, it will be a hydrogen version of the CR-V, a hydrogen car in the C-SUV segment, and a direct rival to the Hyundai Nexo.
This new Honda SUV will have another particularity and that is that it will be the first production tourism with a fuel cell and plug-in at the same time (a technology like the one used by Stellantis hydrogen vans ). For short distances, by city, the driver will be able to recharge the battery in a socket as if it were a battery electric or a plug-in hybrid. For longer trips, you will have hydrogen, which offers greater autonomy and faster refueling, in a few minutes.
Although this dual technology can be a double advantage when using it, it also means higher costs and a higher price for the end customer. Fuel cell cars have a small battery, similar in capacity to a hybrid car (HEV) to store any remaining energy. However, this approach by Honda raises a larger battery and, therefore, more expensive.
Honda’s hydrogen SUV will begin manufacturing in 2024 at its Performance Manufacturing Center in Marysville, Ohio (United States). These are facilities specialized in small-volume vehicles, highly focused on artisan manufacturing and hand assembly. Since its opening in 2016, PMC has been responsible for the production of the Honda NSX hybrid supercar, as well as other Acura sports models and Honda Performance Development race cars.
At the moment the brand has not announced if this new model will reach the European market. It should be remembered that the current Honda CR-V sold in Europe is made in Japan, but the CR-V is a global model and as such is produced in different plants, several of them in America. Nor has it given any information regarding its technical part. Details of this new FCEV version of the CR-V will be announced closer to its launch in 2024.
This new ‘zero emissions’ vehicle is part of Honda’s strategy to reduce carbon emissions from its vehicles. By 2040, it plans that 100% of its sales in all global markets will be battery electric vehicles (BEV) and fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV).