2017 Honda FCV — New Production Fuel Cell Vehicle With 60 Percent Better Performance
The production model of the next fuel cell vehicle, called the 2017 Honda FCV, will be released next year. The 2017 FCV will be released in Japan in the first several months of 2016. The American and the European market will get the new fuel cell vehicle shortly after the Japanese release. Although the concept, which was used as a base for the production model, had a bit different name – the Honda FCEV – the automaker decided to go with the FCV moniker. We shouldn’t mistake the 2017 Honda FCV with Toyota’s fuel cell car, which will be renamed. It won’t be called the Toyota FCV anymore; its new name will be the Toyota Mirai. Thanks to this particular change, the 2017 Honda FCV will probably get even better position on the market. With new powertrain which will bring significantly improved performance and some styling changes that make the FCV different from the FCEV concept, the new fuel cell vehicle is going to be very attractive. Of course, the 2017 FCV, as every other car with advanced green technology, has some kind of missionary task, because it shouldn’t just attract the attention of potential customers because of the sales; it should promote the futuristic technology and green cars in general.
Overall Body Design and Changes of 2017 Honda FCV
Because of the fuel cell technology, which is definitely going to be more and more important in the future, the 2017 Honda FCV looks futuristic. As we already said, its appearance is based on the Honda FCEV concept, but the overall style is more modest. However, they obviously did everything to keep the genuine feel of the FCEV concept. The car’s futuristic look, made with bold design language, and appealing body shape reveal that under its skin something extraordinary is happening. The exterior appearance of the 2017 Honda FCV could be interpreted as a glance into the future where every car will be shaped in such an unconventional way from today’s standpoint. After all, the 2017 FCV does look appealing. It’s a handsome, elegant and sleek car which will be a real attraction once it hits the roads.
2017 Honda FCV Powertrain – Fuel-Cell Stack, Density, Drive Range and Performance
However, the most attractive part of this car is its powertrain. The fuel cell technology is revolutionary and pretty uncommon, so every fuel cell car is destined to attract the attention. The 2017 Honda FCV is proud of its green powertrain which is not even better than before. If we compare it with the Honda FCX Clarity, the FCV’s predecessor, we can learn that the new powertrain needs less space inside the car’s body. Its 33 percent size reduction of the fuel cell stack isn’t the only improvement. Thanks to the density of 3.1 kilowatts per liter, the new Honda’s fuel cell vehicle has improved the performance by 60 percent in comparison with the FCX Clarity. The powertrain of the 2017 Honda FCV delivers around 134 horsepower which is more than enough for a comfortable ride. However, the most impressive feature this powertrain has is its autonomy. Reportedly, the 2017 Honda FCV has a driving range of more than 300 miles. The automaker also decided to put another use for the fuel cell powertrain, so now the FCV can be used as a mobile generation of electricity. This device is called the Honda Power Exporter and it’s envisaged as an AC power output which has 12 horsepower (equally to 9 kW). This AC output uses the energy generated by the fuel cells and it can be employed for various needs wherever the situation demands.
That’s Fine, But How Can I Refuel My Fuel Cell Vehicle?
Of course, the permanent problem with fuel cell cars is hydrogen supply. There is a limited number of hydrogen fuel stations, so the owners a fuel cell vehicle can’t actually use their car for a longer ride away from the hydrogen stations. Since the 2017 Honda FCV has more than 300 miles of driving range with a full tank, it can travel more than usual, but still not very far. With pressure of 70 MPa, the tank can be filled in three to five minutes. At the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show, Honda will reveal their plans to support the development of the new hydrogen fuel stations in the California.
UPDATE 18/12/2014: The Honda FCV will be exhibited at the upcoming 2015 Detroit Auto Show. Although it’s still a concept, the production version will be very similar — in not the same — as the model which will be brought to the 2015 NAIAS. The first production models are expected to be released sometime 2016. Of course, the expectations are that they will be launched in California first.