Hydrogen can be found just about everywhere – so car manufactuers are looking to harness its power as a fuel of the future.
One such car manufacturers is Honda, which has taken the wraps off its FCEV fuel cell vehicle concept at the Los Angeles Auto Show.
The curious contraption is powered by a fuel cell that uses a mixture of hydrogen and oxygen to create electrcity, which powers the wheels and the car's electronics. The result is emission-free motoring, with water and heat the only byproducts. Clean, it most certainly is.
Fuel cell technology has the added benefit of more range (and therefore less worrying about running out before you reach your destination) and faster charging than a standard electric battery.
Green with envy
Honda FCEV concept
Honda FCEV concept
Honda claims the FCEV has a range of more than 300 miles, putting it in the same league as the all-electric Tesla Roadster 80kWh, and can be refuelled in just three minutes. That is, assuming you can find a hydrogen fuelling station.
The fuel cell stack, which is where the magic science bit happens, has seen its power density increase by 60 per cent, yet is 33 per cent smaller than it was in the Honda FCX Clarity concept from 2002. Less bulky equipment means less weight and better performance.
Besides its green credentials, the FCEV is meant to slip through the air with little resistance, further improving its efficieny. Hence why it looks like a cross between a plane and something from space. Despite its swooping frame, there's room for five people inside.
“The Honda FCEV Concept hints at Honda’s future direction for fuel-cell vehicles,” president and CEO of American Honda Tetsuo Iwamura explained. “While this car is a concept, it points toward a very real future."
The Honda FCEV is expected to launch in 2015 in the US and Japan, with Europe to follow. No word on a price just yet.