Honda FCV exterior
Toyota’s hydrogen Mirai has only just hit UK streets, but Honda is already aiming to upstage them with a new fuel-cell saloon heading to the Tokyo Motor Show next month. And the best news is it will be coming to our shores for the first time.
Unlike the firm’s previous hydrogen production car, the FCX Clarity, this new car won’t just be leased out to a select few in California and Japan. Honda plans to sell it in both the US and Europe, with British models expected to hit showrooms in 2017.
An evolution of the dramatic-looking FCEV concept shown at last year’s LA Motor Show, the FCV demonstrates more distinctive exterior styling than the FCX Clarity, as well as an enhanced hydrogen-electric powertrain promising more than 435 miles on one fill-up.
This is thanks to a new 70MPa high-pressure hydrogen tank, which can also be recharged in around three minutes from a charging station, an infrastructure that will receive significant investment in the UK in the coming years. It beats the Toyota FCV’s range of around 300 miles.
This is also made possible by an advanced fuel cell stack, which is a third smaller than that used in Honda’s previous hydrogen efforts. But increased density helps to improve overall performance by approximately 60 per cent. Output, like the Mirai, is measured at 134bhp, benchmarked against a traditional family saloon.
The aircraft-style controls and wraparound dash from the concept’s have been toned down a bit, but it still looks like a step up of quality and design from the six-year old FCX.
Honda will also demonstrate a ‘Power Exporter’ to work with the FCV. An external power feeding device, it allows energy produced by the car to power electrical devices or even an entire house from hydrogen. It can produce up to 9KW at a time, enough to power most major functions in an average home.
Do you think Honda or Toyota has the most successful FCV design? Let us know in the comments below.