Honda Clarity Fuel Cell

Honda Clarity Fuel Cell: Developer says next step is to reduce cost

Discussing the new Clarity Fuel Sell FCV, Honda developer Kiyoshi Shimizu said that the next step would be, “to set a price that’s easy on the consumer.”

He was speaking to the press at a test drive event in Saitama Prefecture on April 18. About placing power train components such as the stack and motor under the front hood, he said, “It means a great deal that, rather than a special placement, we put the power train in the same place as a regular gasoline engine.” He said that they were laying the groundwork for building FCV models based on not only sedans, but various types of models such as SUVs.

Honda also has plans to introduce a next-gen model through technical cooperation with General Motors in 2020. Shimizu spoke of ways to reduce this model’s costs. For example, they would need a scheme to use a hydrogen tank with advanced raw materials and high-priced carbon fiber reinforced plastics to share a number of models in common and not just one.

A new FCV plan released by the Japanese government in March aims to have a total of 800,000 FCVs on the roads of Japan by 2030. If costs can be reduced for the stacks, which are the heart of a fuel-cell system, this could bring down FCV costs considerably, but currently the automotive industry feels that it faces high hurdles to accomplishing this.

(Translated by Greg Scott)