Make Hydrogen Happen

The 2025 Honda CR-V e:FCEV has a plug-in twist

Just like battery-electric cars 20 years ago, hydrogen fuel cell cars suffer from the old chicken and the egg problem. Nobody wants to buy a fuel cell vehicle until the supporting infrastructure is in place, but it’s tough to invest in infrastructure when nobody owns a fuel cell vehicle.

Honda says it’s playing the long game with a lofty goal in mind. The company says it will sell only zero-emission vehicles by 2040 with a fleet of battery electric and fuel cell vehicles. Honda intends to take that plan one step further by being a net-zero carbon emissions company, across all of its products and facilities, by 2050.

To get there, Honda is investing in both the chicken and the egg.

The egg is the new 2025 Honda CR-V e:FCEV — a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle I spent the day driving and that will soon be available for lease in California. As wild as it sounds to launch a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle in a country with little to no infrastructure, Honda has hedged its bet with this particular egg.

The chicken is Honda’s strategy toward hydrogen.

Honda sees four ways to apply the second-generation hydrogen fuel cell: in consumer and commercial fuel cell vehicles, in stationary power stations and in construction machinery. The latter two demand power for long durations, in theory growing the demand for hydrogen and thus encouraging better infrastructure.

“We are doing this to advance the hydrogen economy, because somebody has to,” Jay Joseph, VP Sustainability and Business Development at Honda said referring to the company’s broad plan.

The 2025 Honda CR-V e:FCEV is one slice of that hydrogen pie. The company is also testing other applications of the fuel. It uses a 576 kW hydrogen-powered generator as a backup to the grid- and solar-powered data center at Honda headquarters in Torrance, California. Honda is also readying a Class 8 fuel cell semi-truck as a proof-of-concept here in the United States.

 

[Read more on the TechCrunch website]