Hydrogen fuel cells still represent a small slice of the electric-vehicle market share, since they rely on unique infrastructure, but Honda is not letting that slow down its aspirations. In 2024, the automaker intends to shake up the market a bit with a new fuel-cell vehicle based on an immensely popular car, with some unique features that could help it gain traction with buyers.
Honda this week announced that it will build a hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicle at its Performance Manufacturing Center in Marysville, Ohio, in 2024. While the vehicle does not yet have a public name, Honda did say that this new FCEV will be based on the CR-V SUV, one of the automaker's most popular offerings.
There's an interesting twist in here, too. While every other fuel-cell vehicle turns compressed hydrogen gas into electricity, which is used to propel the electric motors powering the vehicle, Honda's FCEV will ease the transition to hydrogen by offering a charging plug. This will, in Honda's words, "[enable] the driver to charge the onboard battery to deliver EV driving around town with the flexibility of fast hydrogen refueling for longer trips." So, in a sense, it's like a plug-in hybrid, but instead of gasoline, it uses compressed hydrogen.
The Performance Manufacturing Center usually deals with small-batch vehicles like the Acura NSX and limited-volume . Since the hydrogen CR-V requires some unique assembly processes, it makes sense that Honda would start production there.
Details about the new CR-V FCEV are light, and things will likely stay that way for a while. However, Honda did promise that more information about this car will be made available as we draw closer to the start of production in 2024.