Honda’s latest concept may look like a wild, futuristic transportation pod, but the Honda FCEV Concept (for Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle) that recently debuted at the 2013 Los Angeles auto show portends a next-generation fuel cell vehicle that could debut in the U.S. as soon as 2015. This concept follows in the footsteps of Honda’s current fuel cell vehicle, the Honda FCX Clarity, and improves upon the fuel cell formula with a more innovative design that makes for better packaging of the advanced powertrain.
Like the FCX Clarity, the Honda FCEV Concept is powered by an electric motor which gets its power from a hydrogen fuel cell. In this vehicle, the 100-kW fuel cell stack itself fits entirely in the engine compartment along with the small electric motor, allowing for greater interior room compared with the FCX Clarity which positioned its fuel cell under the floor of the vehicle. This fuel cell allows for 300 miles of range compared with the FCX Clarity’s 240 miles, and Honda says refueling takes just three minutes at a hydrogen fuel station.
Beyond its advanced technology, the Honda FCEV Concept’s styling certainly sets it apart from the crowd with its futuristic look. Honda says the body is ultra-aerodynamic, and that’s easy to believe thanks to its sweeping lines, covered rear wheels, and many ducts and scoops to divert air flow. The roof is nearly all-glass and blends with the windows for an almost spaceship-like profile. We can’t see the interior at this point, but Honda says there is room for five passengers in the FCEV Concept.
Honda recently entered in an agreement with GM to co-develop fuel cell vehicle systems, but that powertrain system won’t be ready until 2020. This Honda FCEV Concept, on the other hand, will be a next-generation exclusively Honda-developed fuel cell vehicle that the company says will go on sale in the U.S. and Japan in 2015. We’re not sure if the production model will look quite like this futuristic concept, but expect this new model to further expand Honda’s fuel cell outreach. Honda is working with many different agencies to develop better infrastructure for hydrogen fuel stations across the country. Look for more information to come about the next-generation Honda fuel cell vehicle in the near future.