Honda will go to production in 2008 with a fuel cell vehicle closely patterned after the FCX concept car on display at the 2006 Los Angeles auto show, announced John Mendel, senior U.S. executive of the Japanese manufacturer.
As with the current version of the FCX, Honda expects to put at least some of the next-generation fuel-cell vehicles into the hands of “average” consumers.
The prototype FCX uses the latest version of Honda’s hydrogen-powered fuel-cell stack. The heart of the vehicle, it is 20 percent smaller and 30 percent lighter than the prior-generation stack, and boosts output by nearly 20 percent, to 95 kilowatts. That’s enough to deliver a 100-mph top speed. Lithium-ion batteries help recapture and reuse energy normally lost while braking and coasting, helping boost range to 354 miles. Honda was also able to improve low-temperature performance, the FCX running at temperatures down to -30 degrees Celsius.
“This is real-world fuel cell technology,” declared Mendel.
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