The future of mobility is, if you ask Honda, hydrogen fuel cells. Few automakers have invested as much time, research, and money into making hydrogen fuel cells feasible, and Honda’s first wave of hydrogen vehicles are slated to arrive around 2015. The Honda FCEV Concept is a precursor to the production model, though one hopes the futuristic styling sticks around.
Honda has worked hard to improve the efficiency and lower the cost of their fuel cell technology, and the 100 kW fuel stack packs 60 percent more energy while weighing 33% less than the fuel stack found in the Honda FCX Clarity. The FCEV Concept boasts a range of 300 miles, and Honda says it can be refueled in as little as three minutes, on par with most gasoline vehicles, even though the only emission is water vapor.
And let’s not forget about the gorgeous, futuristic styling. Though vaguely reminiscent of hybrids like the Honda Insight, the FCEV Concept has the right look for a car of the 21st century. Thin headlights and taillights combined with just the right amount of front and side flair make for a vehicle that straight up looks like it belongs in the year 2050, rather than 2015. Though I doubt the production model will be nearly as daring, I hope to see some of the FCEV’s features shine through as we get close to the release date.
Of course there are drawbacks, chief among them the lack of fueling stations (standing at just 10 so far throughout the entire U.S.) and pricing, which Honda has yet to determine. Like EVs though, the first wave of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles is likely to be expensive, though costs will come down as production and technology ramps up.
Honda hopes to have the first production hydrogen fuel cell vehicles on the road by 2015, though performance specifications like horsepower and acceleration go unmentioned. With electric motors providing the propulsion though, there is no reason for the fast-looking FCEV to not be at least a little fun to drive.
Here’s looking forward to 2015.