Honda believes there's a future in hydrogen fuel cells, and it's announcing significant expansions in that business. This will include launching a CR-V-based fuel cell electric vehicle in 2024 in North America and Japan.
The fuel cell system for this vehicle comes from joint development with General Motors. According to Honda, the tech has one-third the cost and double the durability of the system in the 2019 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell.
Gallery: Honda Fuel Cell Technology Announcement
The CR-V-based fuel cell vehicle will also have plug-in electric functionality. This will mean that owners will be able to charge it at home, which will potentially mitigate concerns about the relatively limited hydrogen refueling infrastructure.
The company is also continuing to develop fuel cell tech. Around 2030, Honda expects to have a fuel cell that's half the cost and double the durability of the system co-developed with GM. The price per unit could be comparable to a diesel engine, the automaker claims.
Fuel-cell-powered commercial vehicles are also on the horizon. In Japan, Honda is working on a heavy-duty truck with Isuzu that begins on-road demonstrations by the first quarter of 2024. It's also already testing a similar rig with Dongfeng in China.
Honda intends to introduce fuel cells to the construction industry. It would apply them to excavators and wheel loaders first.
Honda wants to take fuel cells to space, too. It is working with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency to develop the tech. The plan is to use solar energy to electrolyze water and create oxygen and hydrogen. The fuel cell could generate electricity and water from oxygen and hydrogen. The company refers to this as a "circulative renewable energy system."
The ultimate goal for Honda is to achieve carbon neutrality for all of its products and corporate activities by 2050. The company wants to have no environmental impact.