Honda has announced it will release a hydrogen-powered car in March 2016 which could, in an emergency, even power your house.
The clean-energy car called the FCV, which emits only water as a waste product, will have a range of 300 miles (480km) and seating for up to five people. The car also has an external power feeder that,
according to Honda, could be used to power an entire home during an emergency.
The new car is called the FCV and it is heralded as the future of automobiles, possibly leading to a ‘hydrogen economy’ where many things run on the element, as it is a zero-emission fuel. Cars employing the fuel use electrochemical cells or combustion to turn it into heat, with the only by-product being water.
Many car manufacturers have been toying with the idea of hydrogen cars including Toyota, Audi, Hyundai and BMW.
There is no news yet on the price of the car or what its top speed will be, but the release date of March 2016 in Japan is known. Honda says it will release the car in the US, with Europe to follow.
The car has a power output of more than 100kW and an increased ‘power density’ of 60 per cent over its predecessor, the FCX Clarity hydrogen fuel car from Honda. This gives the car its impressive range of 300 miles (480km).
The vehicle can be refuelled in just three to five minutes, although the specialist hydrogen-fuel is not widely available at stations yet.
Some experts have pointed out that problems with hydrogen fuel – such as a lack of infrastructure to support a nationwide fleet of cars – will need to be solved before the technology is able to be adopted en masse. The problem is that pure hydrogen does not occur naturally on Earth. This means it needs to be made via other means, such as using methane, but the process is complicated.
Attempts to replicate the process using renewable sources have proven to be expensive. Nonetheless, car manufacturers are banking on hydrogen ultimately becoming a major source of fuel in the future, and Honda especially is keen to stay at the front of the game.
“Honda has led the industry for nearly two decades in the development and deployment of fuel-cell technology through extensive real-world testing, including the first government fleet deployment and retail customer leasing program,” the company said in a statement.
“Since the introduction of its first generation fuel-cell vehicle, the FCX, in 2002, Honda has made significant technological advancements in fuel-cell vehicle operation in both hot and sub-freezing weather while meeting customer expectations and safety regulations,” the statement continued.