Honda advances hydrogen strategy

Honda commences production of CR-V e:FCEV

Honda has commenced production of the 2025 Honda CR-V e:FCEV fuel cell electric vehicle at the Performance Manufacturing Centre in Ohio. The new CR-V e:FCEV is the only FCEV built in the United States and the first production hydrogen FCEV in the United States to combine an all-new US made fuel cell system with plug-in EV charging capability.

The CR-V combines the fuel cell system with plug-in charging to provide up to 50 kilometres of EV charging around town along with the flexibility of fast hydrogen refuelling for longer trips.

This new fuel system was co-developed by Honda and GM, achieving higher efficiency and increased refinement, with durability performance doubled and cost reduced by two thirds compared to the previous fuel cell system used in the Honda Clarity Fuel Cell.

Production technicians needed to navigate several challenges related to new production equipment and processes to effectively transition from building the Acura NSX to building the Honda CR-V e:FCEV.

These changes included new assembly processes specific to producing a vehicle powered by both a fuel cell system and a plug-in EV battery, as it requires multiple connections for the vehicle’s two power sources and the Power Supply Connector that can provide electrical power for various external devices. 

These include a sub-assembly of two hydrogen tanks, attaching high pressure piping and other parts and then installing the tanks in the vehicle, compressing hydrogen to 1000 PSI via a new onsite station, installation of the fuel cell system and installation of the under-floor battery.

CR-V e:FCEV product highlights

The Honda CR-V e:FCEV builds on the CR-Vs reputation of top-class cabin space, cargo capacity and power with a modern drivetrain.

Honda’s engineers have optimised the steering and suspension tuning to deliver the same sporty driving experience and class leading refinement as turbo and hybrid-powered CR-V models. The driver can also customise the driving experience with selectable drive modes, including EV modes to maximise efficiency or Sport mode to prioritise acceleration and responsiveness.

Refuelling with hydrogen tanks takes about the same time as filling the tank with fuel. Recharging the Honda CR-V e:FCEV takes just 1.8 hours using a level 2 charger and adds up to 50 kilometres of battery powered range for short trips around town.

The Honda CR-V e:FCEV also features the Honda Power Supply Connector, which turns  it into a clean power source capable of running small home appliances, power tools or camping equipment, or even for charging the new Honda Motocompacto e-scooter.

Honda’s hydrogen strategy

Honda has identified four core domains for the utilisation of its fuel cell system. In addition to fuel cell electric vehicles, the Honda hydrogen business strategy includes commercial vehicles, stationary power stations and construction machinery. Honda are engaged in collaboration with other companies in pursuit of these business opportunities.

Honda recently showcased a Class 8 Hydrogen Fuel Cell Truck Concept powered by three Honda fuel cell systems as part of a new demonstration project aimed at future production of fuel cell-powered products.

Honda have commenced testing of a stationary fuel cell power station on its Torrance, California campus, marking the company’s first step towards the commercialisation of zero-emission backup power generation.

Honda is also investigating the application of its fuel cell system to equipment such as excavators and wheel loaders, which account for a large part of the construction machinery market.

Honda’s electrification strategy

Honda has a vision to make battery-electric fuel cell electric vehicles represent 100% of its new vehicle sales by 2040. While Honda accelerates preparation for EV production, the company plans to sustain current ICE and hybrid-electric vehicle production to meet the continued customer demand. The sales growth of ICE and hybrid electric vehicles will also support the required investment in an electrified future.

Local availability

The Honda CR-V e:FCEV and other Honda hydrogen powered products are yet to be confirmed for South African introduction.