Feb. 10, 2023.
Honda announced on February 2 that it will begin selling next-generation fuel cell systems in the mid-2020s to expand the application of fuel cell technology beyond its own fuel cell vehicles (FCVs). The initial sales are expected to be at the level of 2,000 units per year, with the goal of selling 60,000 units per year by 2030 and several hundred thousand units per year in the late 2030s.
The company claims that it has developed a new fuel cell system with General Motors (GM) of the U.S., with which it has a partnership, and aims to reduce the cost to one-sixth and increase durability fourfold compared to conventional fuel cell systems by around 2030, when fuel cells are expected to be in full use. In addition to its own FCVs, the company plans to market the system for commercial vehicles, stationary power sources, and construction machinery.
In particular, in the area of commercial vehicles, in Japan, the company plans to start demonstration tests on public roads using a monitored fuel cell heavy-duty truck in collaboration with Isuzu Motors in FY2023. In China, in collaboration with Dongfeng Motor Group, the company began driving demonstration tests of commercial trucks equipped with next-generation fuel cell systems in Hubei Province in January 2023.
MHI has supported the expansion of hydrogen station networks in Japan through its participation in Japan Hydrogen Station Network LLC (JHyM), and in North America through its support for major British oil company Shell, which operates a hydrogen station business. In the future, the company plans to participate in new areas, such as the formation of a hydrogen ecosystem centered on stationary power sources, starting with places where there is demand for hydrogen, and projects organized by governments and local governments that utilize large volumes of imported hydrogen at ports and other locations, and to build partnerships with related companies.
In the future, the company plans to promote research and development with a view to utilizing hydrogen technologies such as fuel cell technology and high-pressure water electrolysis technology (see note) in the space domain.
(Note) Generally, a mechanical compressor is used to pressurize hydrogen, but Honda has its own high-pressure water electrolysis technology that can pressurize hydrogen only by electrolysis of water without using a compressor.