March 29, 2023


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Honda introduces fuel cell technology –

The Honda Clarity fuel cell arrives in Europe in 2016.
© Honda

Honda is fuel cell-driven—and it’s driving demand. Here one thinks beyond applications in the passenger car sector.

Even plans Honda New one next year fuel cell vehicle It will initially be released in North America and Japan, the manufacturer announced Thursday. The vehicle is equipped with a next-generation fuel cell system jointly developed with General Motors.

The new fuel cell system is able to reduce cost by one-third compared to the 2019 Honda Clarity fuel cell system. The cost reductions were achieved, among other things, through “the introduction of innovative materials for the electrodes, further development of the cell insulation structure, and the simplification of supporting equipment ( “factory balance”) and improve productivity,” according to Honda.

Widespread use in 2030

Based on the developments made with General Motors and the experience gained, Honda assumes that in 2030 extensive use of fuel cells can be expected. Along the way, Honda is ramping up its fundamental research into future fuel cell technologies. The goal is to cut the costs of the fuel cell system co-developed with General Motors in half and double its service life by then. When it comes to costs, Honda wants to try to bring overall costs down to the level of diesel engines.

The Japanese have been working on fuel cell technology for more than 30 years and have been working with General Motors on the next generation of fuel cell systems since 2013. Honda itself describes the fuel cell system as the heart of its hydrogen technology.

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Also used in space

Honda and General Motors have developed a new fuel cell system. Photo: Honda

The group not only wants to use the system in fuel cell vehicles, but also expand it to other applications. This aims to increase the demand for hydrogen and promote the use of hydrogen to achieve carbon dioxide neutrality. Areas also include use in space. In addition to water, food, and oxygen, humans also need hydrogen for fuel and power supplies for various activities in space. In order to be able to operate in space in the long term, the supplies required from Earth must be reduced to a minimum,” Honda says.

In order to achieve this, it is necessary to create a cycle system based on renewable energies. It is “a high differential pressure water electrolysis system that uses solar energy and the electrolysis of water to produce oxygen and hydrogen, and a fuel cell system that uses oxygen and hydrogen to produce electricity and water,” Honda says. Jointly with the Japanese Aerospace Agency JAXA, Honda has already carried out development work until the middle of last year. Last year, a research and development contract for “Renewable Energy Cycle System” was signed with JAXA. This should provide electricity for operation on the lunar surface and for the various lunar modules.