Honda has always been at the forefront of automotive innovation, and now the company is expanding its use of hydrogen beyond cars on the roads to include trucks and construction equipment, electricity for buildings, and even outer space. The company plans to release a new fuel cell vehicle for sale next year, featuring a fuel cell stack developed in collaboration with General Motors.
This partnership is expected to significantly lower the cost of the fuel cell stack to a third of what it currently is, with Honda aiming to make the costs comparable with diesel engines by 2030. The new fuel cell stack will be produced in Ohio, before being rolled out to other North American and Japanese sites.
Honda aims to achieve annual sales of around 2,000 units of its new system by the mid-decade and aims to boost that number to 60,000 units per year by 2030. The company is targeting not only its own fuel cell electric vehicles but also commercial vehicles such as heavy trucks and construction machinery, as well as stationary power stations.
As all automakers continue to develop electric vehicles and those that run on fuel cells and hybrid systems, Honda is positioning itself as a leader in the hydrogen space. “Compared to electric batteries, fuel cells are efficient in producing energy and so they offer a good emission-free solution,” says Testsuya Hasebe, General Manager of Honda who oversees the development of the hydrogen business at Honda.
Honda was among the pioneers in fuel cell technology, showcasing a prototype car in 1998 and launching its first market product in 2002. The company also plans to provide its fuel stack to the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), and is working with Japanese truck maker Isuzu Motors and conducting tests with Dongfeng Motor in China to expand the use of hydrogen for commercial trucks.