The just revealed Honda FCV Concept is said to preview a new production fuel-cell powered vehicle, which will replace the Honda FCX Clarity from 2016.
Unveiled overnight, the new FCV Concept debuts Honda’s next-generation fuel-cell drivetrain. At its heart is a new hydrogen fuel-cell stack that’s claimed to be 33 per cent smaller than the unit used in the FCX Clarity.
The stack takes in oxygen from the atmosphere and hydrogen, stored in the car’s fuel tank, and combines them to form to water and electricity. The former heads out the tailpipe, while the latter goes to power the car’s electric motor.
Honda claims that the production version of the FCV will be the first fuel-cell vehicle to fit both its engine and fuel-cell stack under the bonnet. In the FCX Clarity, the fuel-cell resides in the centre tunnel.
The FCV Concept’s next-generation fuel-cell develops more than 100kW of power and has an output density of 3.1kW per litre, which Honda claims is a 60 per cent improvement of the unit used in the FCX Clairty.
Hooked up to the new stack is a high pressure hydrogen tank, which stores the universe’s lightest element at 70 megapascals — standard atmospheric pressure at sea level is 101.325 kilopascals.
Honda claims that this tank can refuelled completely in around three minutes and, when full, provide a driving range of over 700km. By comparison, the FCX Clarity has a claimed 620km range under the same Japanese testing regime.
The production version of the FCV Concept is scheduled to go on sale in Japan at the end of March 2016. The car will then be introduced into select US and European markets.
Shown off alongside the FCV Concept is the company’s new Power Exporter Concept, which allows the car’s fuel-cell stack to be used as a 9kW electricity generator in emergency situations.