Honda’s next hydrogen-powered car will be a new CRV equipped with plug-in capabilities. The automaker began talking about the next H2 vehicle last year, the Clarity Fuel Cell. Now, the picture around the powertrain is getting clearer.
Honda announced that the next-generation fuel-cell vehicle, based on the CR-V model, would go on sale in North America and Japan in 2022. The hydrogen-powered SUV will be powered by a fuel-cell system developed with GM. It will include two H2 tanks at the rear, an intelligent power unit underneath the seats, and a fuel system and drive unit that is mounted under the front hood. The plug-in battery won’t be able to power the CRV for long distances and it is small enough that Honda didn’t have room for it in its vague diagram. Honda stated that the hydrogen CRV would also include a power export function.
2024 Honda CR-V New Design
Honda has not yet indicated if the H2 CR-V is going to be sold outside California. However, Honda did state that production of the fuel cell CR-V at the Performance Manufacturing Center in Ohio will start in 2024, and include vehicles that will be exported from Japan.
Honda is not giving any further information on the vehicle, but it did release more information this week about the CR-V’s next-generation fuel system. Ryan Harty, senior manager, and division leader of the energy solutions business division at American Honda Motor Company said the new system is twice as durable and can be started in less than a minute at cold temperatures (under 22 degrees F). Harty also stated that the next-generation system is two-thirds cheaper to build than the fuel cell system in the ex-defunct Clarity. This is due to improvements in materials like the use of “innovative material” for electrodes, manufacturing specifications, and a plan to build more units.
Although the Clarity Fuel Cell has been out of production for more than a year, Honda isn’t giving up on hydrogen technology. Honda has been working on next-generation systems. Wednesday’s announcement included more details about the company’s plans, including information about the upcoming CRV-based hydrogen vehicle that it teased last year.
The FCEV that Honda built on the new CRV crossover is only one of its hydrogen-powered plans. The fuel cell system will be integrated into commercial trucks, construction machinery, and stationary power plants to generate CO2-free electricity. Honda and General Motors are co-developing their next-generation fuel cells system. Last week, the two companies announced their partnership. One of the first appearances of the final product will be in the CRV-based hydrogen vehicle.
It will arrive in 2024. There will be some changes to what we expected from the announcement last year. Although it may not be called “CR-V FCEV”, the vehicle will still be a fuel cell vehicle. Honda confirmed that the technology will remain at the heart of the vehicle. However, Honda also revealed that the vehicle will be equipped with a lithium-ion battery pack that can be plugged in and charged, so you can continue driving.
2024 Honda CR-V Powered By Hydrogen Release Date & Price
Honda did not disclose the number of Clarity Fuel Cell vehicles that it sold. However, a spokesperson for Car and Driver stated that there were 2116 total leases of this model in the U.S. The company will have to increase production to make the economy of scale, even though Honda only sold around 41,000 Clarity Fuel Cell vehicles in the five years it had been available.
Honda stated that it will build approximately 2000 units per year of its next-generation fuel cell system by 2025 at the Fuel Cell System Manufacturing Center, which Honda and GM jointly run in Michigan. Honda intends to produce 60,000 units per year by 2030 of either the new unit or an improved fuel cell system. Honda has not yet announced any manufacturing or development partners for its future-gen system. In other words, GM isn’t necessarily involved. However, Honda plans to make the system even more powerful and economically friendly. Harty stated that “Compared to the next generation system, we set additional goals to reduce the cost by one-half and to double its durability.” “We want the future-generation system comparable to diesel engines in terms of ease of use and total ownership cost.”
Honda stated that it views fuel cell systems as essential players in a carbon-neutral society, and does not want them to be limited to cars. Honda is looking for partners to test the fuel cells in commercial vehicles, stationary power plants, and construction machinery. Harty stated that Honda is actively seeking partners in North America for fuel cell commercial trucks. Honda is currently testing hydrogen vehicles in China with Dongfeng Motors. Isuzu will begin testing them in Japan before April 2024. Honda will start selling its fuel cell system to other partners in the transportation sector and the industry in the middle of 2020s.
Harty stated that “basically, our message today is about announcing the fact that the fuel cell powertrain is technically ready to step into and help Honda and other companies achieve their carbon neutrality goals and sustainability goals.” To achieve those goals, we must all work together to create the business ecosystem around hydrogen infrastructure and the hydrogen infrastructure to support them. The Honda CR-V Fuel Cell EV will be available for purchase in 2024. It’s not clear if the vehicle will be available in the 2024 or 2025 model years.
Pricing for the Honda CRV EV has yet to be revealed. The CR-V Hybrid price starts at $33,695 with the destination. The upcoming CRV EV could be made more affordable by local and state hydrogen fuel cell vehicle incentives. California’s Clean Vehicle Rebate can be applied to eligible hydrogen vehicles. It is $4,500.