While some may not agree that hydrogen is the way forward for cars, a few automakers are still pursing the tech. Hyundai still sells the Nexo, is pursuing the freight business with its XCIENT fuel cell truck, and teasing us with the N Vision 74 concept; Toyota has been pursuing hydrogen for a while now with its two generations of the Mirai. Now Honda is following suit by bringing a hydrogen vehicle to market. The company announced that a hydrogen EV CR-V is coming in 2024.
This new fuel cell EV-powered CR-V will be based on the all-new sixth-gen CR-V. Honda says that this new fuel cell crossover will be the first in the industry to combine plug-in EV capability with hydrogen fuel cell technology and help the company achieve its goal of 100 percent of its sales being BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle) or FCEV (Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle) by 2040. According to Honda, this will enable “the driver to charge the onboard battery to deliver EV driving around town with the flexibility of fast hydrogen refueling for longer trips.” It should be interesting to see what kind of performance comes out of this powertrain setup.
Honda plans to build the hydrogen CR-V in a location as unique as the vehicle itself. While CR-Vs and CR-V Hybrids at Honda’s plants in Indiana and Ohio, hydrogen CR-V production will be in the company’s Performance Manufacturing Center.
That’s right, this thing will be built in the same place as the NSX and Acura’s PMC special edition models. Honda says the facility is ideal for hydrogen vehicle production because of the small volume the facility is used to seeing.
“This facility is perfect for production of a new Honda fuel cell electric vehicle, as our small-volume capability enables us to really leverage the skill and expertise of our team to produce quality zero-emission vehicles here in North America” said PMC plant leader Gail May.
While it’ll be an interesting offering from Honda, this may all prove to be a gamble for Honda and any other still pursuing hydrogen. It’s a risky business as its not as efficient as some would think. And it’s not cheap. Filling up a Mirai for instance can cost as much as a gas-powered car with a V6 or V8 engine. Hydrogen is also scarce. Experts have warned that that scarcity could allow us to fall back on ICE vehicles. We will just have to wait and see how this all plays out.
While Honda hasn’t released any more details about the FCEV CR-V, the company says more details will come closer to the crossover’s 2024 release.