Honda Launches CR-V Hydrogen-Based Fuel Cell Plug-In EV In 2024

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It looks like battery electric vehicles (BEVs) are poised to overtake the auto industry, but Honda hasn’t given up on hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV) just yet. The automaker has announced it will launch a new FCEV in 2024 based on the all-new CR-V crossover.

Honda hasn’t shared much about the new model, though it’s been revealed that they’ll be building it at the Performance Manufacturing Center in Ohio. The facility opened in 2016, making Acura NSX supercars, Acura PMC Edition models, and Honda Performance Development race cars. It is designed to produce low volume special models, such as the new FCEV.

The new FCEV will help the automaker achieve its goal of producing BEVs and FCEVs representing 100 percent of its global auto sales by 2040. Honda is accelerating its plans to produce battery EVs in the US, said Gary Robinson, vice president of auto planning and strategy for Honda.

“We will also commence production of low-volume fuel cell electric vehicles there to further explore their huge potential as part of a sustainable transportation future,” he added.

Honda launched its first commercial fuel cell vehicle in 2002. The FCX will eventually be replaced by the Clarity in 2017, but Honda will discontinue production of the model in 2021.

Honda isn’t the only automaker continuing to tinker with hydrogen. In October, BMW chairman Oliver Zipse said that “hydrogen would be the coolest thing to drive.” The German automaker plans to launch a “proper hydrogen car” this decade.

Toyota and Alpine are exploring hydrogen’s potential ability to keep internal combustion engines alive, with the Japanese brand installing a hydrogen burning engine inside the Corolla. It offers zero-emissions driving with record exhausts, and there have been rumors that a redesigned Prius could accept such a powertrain.

Honda didn’t say when production would begin in 2024, but we’ll get more details ahead of the model’s launch. It’s unclear whether vehicles based on the CR-V will retain the style of the model or receive a unique design. However, low production volumes likely mean there will be some big changes to the CR-V. Hydrogen faces the same hurdles as EVs – they both lack a robust infrastructure for refueling and recharging.