Honda isn’t looking back when it comes to hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles, and the automaker has opened an advanced, fast-filling hydrogen fueling station at its California campus. This is in anticipation of the 2015 Honda FCEV (Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle), which will roll out in the next year or so.
The next-generation fueling system cuts refilling time of the hydrogen fuel bladder by some 45%, turning refueling into a three minute pit stop for some 300 miles of driving range. The MC Fill system, as Honda is calling it, monitors the temperature output at the dispenser, allowing it to maximize flow and refill the 10,000 psi fuel tank in as little as three minutes. Not even the Tesla Superchargers can match that kind of refill rate, and Honda is going to make a big push in hydrogen fuel technology in the coming years.
Honda is already consolidating its efforts, ending Honda Fit EV production early and killing the Honda Insight hybrid as it shores up its resources to focus on the 2015 FCEV. Honda was leasing the FCX Clarity hydrogen fuel cell for a few years now, and seems ready to put hydrogen fuel cel vehicles on dealership lots…at least in California. The lack of refueling infrastructure means hydrogen cars are going to be limited to a select few areas during their initial launch, much like many electric vehicles.
I’m also expecting/hoping the size of the MC Fill station shrinks considerably, as that’s quite the impressive footprint for a single filling station. As another part of Honda’s increasingly-diverse green portfolio though, this new fueling station should help make the transition from oil to hydrogen a whole lot easier.