Honda may offer ‘next generation’ fuel cell, electric hybrid as early as 2015
I emphasize "approaching." Today, a sketch was released of the FCEV concept car along with Honda’s vow to produce and market the car in late 2015. First in North America, Japan and later in Europe. Honda has performed extensive “ bench testing” of fuel cell,electric vehicles through a corporate fleet leasing program since 2002. The first FCEV was put into the driving hands of a retail customer in 2005. Today, there are 15 or so on the road.
Good news, but very slow progress for a "working" concept in place for well over 2 decades. While a step in the direction of logical automotive engineering progression, consumers should not expect mass-marketing of a 2014 Civic based FCEV any time soon. It may be noted that Honda is not the only major player in the "alternative fuel" propulsion game.
I recall a Mercedes Benz S Class Concept of the early 1990s touring the United States in the promotion of fuel cell technology. Yes, the technology was on the German drawing board 2.5 decades ago.
The only visual evidence of “ exhaust” was a trickle of water. The rep demonstrating the car claimed that one could drink it. In the 90s, the public wasn't ready for a fuel cell, electric hybrid automobile. Today, consumer awareness and concern for the environment has heightened as we witness measurable cause and effects of global warming and cooling. And then there’s the dependency on foreign imported crude.
The world economy is tied to the availability of affordable, available crude or natural gas. By eliminating that ‘mass dependency’ on fossil fuel, not only would the United States benefit, all developed and emerging economies would benefit. Take a look at the smog in China. From time to time pollution originating in Asia, “ makes land” on the mainland of the U.S.
As announced in July, General Motors, Honda and the United States Army have partnered in fuel cell research and development. The hook for the military is an obvious one. With fuel cell technology, the endless logistic pursuit of available fuel is reduced to nil. The reduction or elimination of fuel dependency in a war zone is of major advantage, and in some instances, can preserve lives while leading to victory. While International Harvester ( Tristar) does offer an electric hybrid drive train and chassis for bus and military, the next logical progression is FCEV.
“The Honda FCEV Concept demonstrates the company’s vision for the future of personal mobility and our commitment to developing advanced alternative fueled vehicles.” Said Mike Accavitti, Senior V.P. of American Honda Motor Co., Inc.
A leader in fuel efficiency and low emissions transportation development for decades, Honda has been recognized as a “ low impact” automotive industry leader in the development of hybrid and alternative fuel vehicles.
Today, the Accord Hybrid, Plug-in Sedan, Honda Fit and Civic Natural Gas tops lists for the “ greenest” cars in the U.S. The Honda FCX was named “ World Green Car” by by the ACEE in 2009.
If you plan on attending the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show, look for Honda to reveal the FCEV Concept Nov., 20 at 1:35 pm. Also, take a look at the all new 2014 Civic, soon to be America’s best-selling( again) compact car.