If being green is the new black, and hydrogen is the future of being green, will there be any color puns left to make?
Honda probably wouldn’t be too happy with the implication that it’s latest concept car is a joke, but at least it’s a gas here at the 2013 LA Auto Show. Nonsense aside, the FCEV concept offers a preview of the company’s future plans for hydrogen cars. Automakers are eyeing hydrogen as a possible patch for the world’s fossil fuel addiction because it offers re-fueling times similar to conventional gasoline cars without spewing carbon dioxide particulates into the air. It should take about three minutes to “gas up.”
The concept can carry up to five passengers and expresses a potential styling direction for the fuel cell vehicle that Honda is preparing for 2015 in Japan and the U.S.
Honda says the ability to ferry five will be a hallmark in people carrying capacity made possible by storing the powertrain components completely within the “engine room.” That will also lend enough flexibility to build multiple hydrogen-powered vehicles in the future.
Currently, a handful of people who live in California are driving the company’s first hydrogen vehicle: the FCX Clarity. Honda began offering that car in 2008 and has since made big strides in improving the technology. Hydrogen vehicles use the fuel to generate electricity that then powers motors to turn the wheels. Now Honda says it has managed to improve the efficiency of that energy harvesting process to three kilowatts per liter of fuel, which is a 60 percent improvement while the upcoming car is expected to offer a range of over 300 miles.
“The Honda FCEV Concept not only sets our direction for our next generation fuel-cell vehicle in 2015, but for future improvements in electric drive technology,” said American Honda senior vice president Mike Accavitti “The advancements we are making are substantial, meaningful and very real.”
Honda, Toyota and Hyundai are all expected to begin offering fuel cell vehicles in the near future.
GALLERY: Honda FCEV Concept
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