Honda doubles down on hydrogen with new fuel cell-powered SUV

Honda introduced a new hydrogen fuel cell-powered automobile for the US market in an indication that the automaker has not given up on essentially the most plentiful aspect within the universe for its automobile lineup.

The 2025 Honda CR-V e:FCEV could not roll off the tongue simply, however Honda insists it may discover a fan base, particularly as hybrid powertrains are proving to be extra widespread with US automobile consumers than pure battery-electric autos. The fuel cell electrical automobile may have an EPA-rated vary of 270 miles, which incorporates 29 miles of all-electric driving vary.

The CR-V e:FCEV is a compact crossover SUV that’s co-developed with General Motors utilizing fuel cell modules produced by the businesses’ Fuel Cell System Manufacturing (FCSM) three way partnership in Michigan. It shall be obtainable for leasing in California later this yr, however pricing particulars weren’t instantly obtainable.

The fuel cell modules put out an estimated 92.2kW of energy, with 174 horsepower and 229 pound-feet of torque. The battery has an power capability of 17.7kWh and may be recharged via a traditional wall outlet or a Level 2 charger. And the FCEV may have bidirectional charging capabilities, delivering a modest 1.5kW of energy for small house home equipment or tenting tools.

Size-wise, it’s a CR-V, so don’t anticipate huge swaths of house. The wheelbase is 106.3 inches, similar because the 2024 gas-powered mannequin, with an total size of 187.6 inches.

The FCEV will come commonplace with HondaLink, the corporate’s related app, which incorporates hydrogen fueling station info. Locating a refueling station shall be one of many primary challenges for anybody focused on proudly owning Honda’s new SUV. There are solely 55 hydrogen stations in California, based on Hydrogen Fuel Cell Partnership.

Hydrogen fuel cells use compressed hydrogen as their fuel, releasing water vapor as its solely emission. Various automakers have lately seized on the expertise for its benefits within the growth of heavy-duty autos and cellular energy mills — and as a option to additional transition away from polluting gas-powered autos and assembly their very own local weather objectives.

FCSM was established in 2017 as a three way partnership between GM and Honda. The two automakers have additionally collaborated on battery electrical autos, together with the Honda Prologue, Acura ZDX, and Cruise Origin.

Hydrogen has discovered little success within the passenger automobile market. Honda was one of many solely firms to promote a hydrogen-powered automobile — the Clarity — earlier than it was discontinued in 2017. The downside stems from the near-total absence of a refueling infrastructure. Automakers are actually pivoting to work vehicles and development tools, theorizing that it is going to be simpler to construct hydrogen fueling stations for autos that function in confined areas.

Hydrogen’s power content material by quantity is low, which makes storing hydrogen a problem as a result of it requires excessive pressures, low temperatures, or chemical processes to be saved compactly. Overcoming this problem is necessary for light-duty autos as a result of they typically have restricted dimension and weight capability for fuel storage.

The Biden administration lately proposed new tax tips aimed toward making it cheaper to provide hydrogen as a less-polluting various to fossil fuels. The downside, although, is that almost all hydrogen is made with the assistance of fossil fuels, principally via a course of known as steam methane reforming that produces carbon dioxide emissions. Methane is an much more highly effective greenhouse fuel than CO2 and routinely escapes alongside the availability chain, from manufacturing to closing use.

The Honda CR-V e:FCEV will solely are available one trim, the Touring mannequin, with a ten.2-inch gauge cluster, nine-inch central touchscreen, wi-fi Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, wi-fi cellphone charging, a 12-speaker Bose audio system, and quite a few different commonplace options. There are 4 driving modes: Normal, Eco, Sport, and Snow.

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