On June 14, Honda Development Division Vice President Hideyuki Sakamoto explained the technology behind the new FCV at the company’s Yokohama headquarters.
The system reformulates ethanol from plant material into hydrogen and uses this hydrogen for power generation to drive a motor. Compared to current FCVs which are equipped with a tank to store hydrogen, the system does not need expensive rare metals like platinum for its FC stack, although it does need the reformulation device. Sakamoto said, “We can use ordinary low-cost materials.”
Ethanol is used as a fuel in countries like Brazil which have an infrastructure designed for it. Sakamoto said about this FCV, “We hope to commercialize it by around 2020 for use for fleets.” He also revealed a plan to soon unveil a prototype commercial car, saying, “We hope you (members of the press) can try it this summer.”
(Translated by Greg Scott)