Automaker is preparing for the commercial launch of its new hydrogen-powered vehicles
Japanese automaker Honda has been preparing to launch its new hydrogen-powered vehicles in the coming years. The company has been a supporter of hydrogen fuel cells and their use in transportation for some time and was among the first automakers to make a hydrogen-powered vehicle available to consumers. Honda’s Clarity FCX has been available for lease since 2002, but only in the U.S. The automaker does, however, have plans to bring new hydrogen-powered vehicles to other countries.
Fleet of new vehicles expected to be released in the UK and Europe in 2016
A fleet of Honda’s new fuel cell electric vehicles is expected to arrive in the United Kingdom and Germany in early 2016. These vehicles will be the production model of Honda’s latest fuel cell electric vehicle concept. The automaker has plans to commercialize these vehicles in the U.S. and Japan in 2015 and these countries will serve as test markets for the automaker. Hydrogen-powered vehicles have been gaining more attention, but not all of this attention has been positive and Honda is not yet convinced that these new vehicles will be a guaranteed success.
Honda shows some concerns regarding the hydrogen infrastructure in Europe
Like other automakers, Honda has some concerns when it comes to the availability of a hydrogen fuel infrastructure in Europe and elsewhere. Europe’s H2Mobility initiative has helped bolster the hydrogen infrastructure in many countries, including the United Kingdom where 65 new fueling stations are expected to be operational by 2015. Currently, there are only 12 active hydrogen stations open to the public in the United Kingdom.
Honda works to make fuel cell vehicles less expensive
Infrastructure aside, Honda will also have to overcome challenges concerning the cost of its hydrogen-powered vehicle. Fuel cells are somewhat infamous for their high cost and this cost directly affects the ultimate price of fuel cell vehicles. While Honda has made progress in making fuel cell energy systems less expensive, vehicles that use these energy systems may still be somewhat more expensive than conventional vehicles and those that are equipped with lithium-ion batteries.