At a trade exhibition in Brussels, Belgium, Honda showcased their next-generation hydrogen fuel cell, marking a significant advancement in the field of hydrogen technology. This innovative technology, while still in the prototype stage, has the potential to be used in a wide range of vehicles, including commercial vehicles, construction equipment, and hydrogen-electric automobiles.
Few automakers are actively investing in the development of hydrogen-powered solutions, indicating that the automobile industry's study of these solutions has been very restricted. A hydrogen-powered iX5 was demonstrated by BMW and Toyota earlier this year, while General Motors is actively working with Honda to develop hydrogen technology. Hyundai is still a proponent of hydrogen-powered automobiles in the meantime. Notwithstanding obstacles like the lack of infrastructure for refilling, Honda is upbeat about the prospects for hydrogen technology.
The increasing demand for hydrogen technology is something that Ingo Nyhues, deputy general manager of business planning and development for Honda's European division, is confident will happen soon. "We believe the technology will soon reach the critical mass required for full commercial deployment."
Honda describes its next-generation hydrogen powertrain as a flexible unit with small dimensions, strong output, exceptional durability, and quick start-up times, especially in cold weather. However, the technical details of this drivetrain are yet unknown.
By 2024, Honda intends to incorporate this technology into a hydrogen-powered CR-V that will be sold in Japan and North America. This is a big step toward the commercialization of hydrogen-electric passenger cars.
Additionally, Isuzu and Honda engineers are working together to create heavy-duty commercial vehicle prototypes. With a target launch date of March 2027 for a market-ready vehicle, testing is set to begin by March 2024.
Beyond only powering cars, Honda sees its hydrogen technology serving as a sustainable and dependable backup power source for a range of uses, including data centers.