Honda and Toyota FCV World Debuts with Headwinds

Discussion in 'FCV or Fuel Cell Vehicle' started by xcel, Nov 18, 2014.

  1. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Summary of Briefing on Honda Hydrogen Business – Expanding hydrogen business with external sales of the next-generation fuel cell system

    Working toward the realization of a carbon-neutral society, Honda will not only continue electrifying its products but also take a proactive approach to increase the use of hydrogen as an energy carrier and strive to expand its hydrogen business.

    As the core of its hydrogen business, Honda will further advance its fuel cell system. With the next-generation fuel cell system being co-developed with General Motors (GM), Honda will aim to more than double the durability*1 and reduce the cost to one-third. After achieving these targets with GM, Honda will continue its fundamental research on future fuel cell technologies to double the durability again and halve the cost from the newly reduced level.

    Honda has identified four core domains for the utilization of its fuel cell system: fuel cell vehicles (FCEV), commercial vehicles, stationary power stations and construction machinery, and will actively engage in collaboration with other companies.

    In the area of commercial vehicles, in addition to conducting joint research on fuel cell heavy-duty trucks with Isuzu Motors Limited, Honda began demonstration test driving of commercial trucks equipped with the next-generation fuel cell system in collaboration with Dongfeng Motor Group Co., Ltd.

    In the mid-2020s, Honda will begin external sales of its fuel cell system at the level of 2,000 units per year, with a plan to expand sales in stages. Honda will strive to increase sales to 60,000 units in 2030, and to a few hundred thousand units per year by the second half of the 2030s.

    Honda will continue pursuing research and development in the future with a view to utilizing its hydrogen technologies such as a fuel cell system and high differential pressure water electrolysis technologies in the field of space technology.

    Honda today held a press briefing on its hydrogen business initiatives. The presenters at the event included the following Honda executives:

    Shinji Aoyama Director and Senior Managing Executive Officer and Arata Ichinose, Operating Executive, Head of the Business Development Supervisory Unit.

    A summary of the briefing follows:

    Honda initiatives to expand the use of hydrogen, a step forward toward a carbon-neutral society

    Honda is striving to realize carbon neutrality for all products and corporate activities Honda is involved in by 2050. Aiming for “zero environmental impact” of not only its products but the entire product lifecycle including its corporate activities, Honda is focusing on the following areas as the “three-pillars” of its initiatives: “carbon neutrality,” “clean energy,” and “resource circulation.” In its initiatives, Honda positions hydrogen as one of the high-potential energy carriers, along with electricity.

    The “hydrogen circulation cycle,” which starts with renewable energy, consists of three phases – “generate,” “store/transport” and “use.” To be more specific, with the use of water electrolysis technology, electricity derived from renewable energy sources can be converted into "green hydrogen*3,” making it less susceptible to fluctuations in power generation due to seasonality and weather conditions, and it becomes possible to transport the energy to where it is needed in the form of “green hydrogen” via appropriate methods such as transport by land, sea, and pipeline.

    Honda will expand the applications of its fuel cell system, the core of Honda hydrogen technology, not only to Honda FCEVs but also to various internal and external applications, thereby serving to stimulate demand for hydrogen and facilitating the carbon neutrality of society through the “use” of hydrogen.

    Further advancement of the fuel cell system, the core of Honda hydrogen technology

    Honda was one of the first companies to focus on the potential of hydrogen toward the realization of a carbon-neutral society and has been conducting research and development of hydrogen technologies and FCEVs for more than 30 years. Since 2013, Honda has been working with GM on the joint development of the next-generation fuel cell system.

    In 2024, in North America and Japan, Honda will launch a FCEV model equipped with the next-generation fuel cell system jointly developed with GM. While cost and durability are viewed as typical challenges that needed to be addressed to facilitate widespread use of fuel cell systems, this next-generation fuel cell system, which leverages the knowledge, know-how and economies of scale of both companies, will reduce the cost to one-third compared to the cost of the fuel cell system in the 2019 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell. This significant cost reduction was achieved by various measures including the adoption of innovative materials for electrodes, advancement of a cell sealing structure, simplification of the supporting equipment (“balance of plant”) and the improvement of productivity. Moreover, the durability of the system was doubled by the application of corrosion-resistant materials and controlled suppression of deterioration, and low temperature resistance was also increased significantly.

    Building on these achievements through co-development with GM, looking ahead to the future around 2030, when fuel cell use is expected to begin to advance toward full-fledged popularization, Honda has begun fundamental research on future fuel cell technologies with targets to halve the cost and double the durability compared to the fuel cell system co-developed with GM. In doing so, Honda is striving to realize usability and total cost which will enable the fuel cell system to be on par with conventional diesel engines.

    Utilization of hydrogen technologies in the field of space technology

    Honda is conducting advanced research and development of hydrogen technologies while envisioning use in outer space, another potential area where hydrogen technologies can be utilized. In addition to water and food, people need oxygen, as well as hydrogen for fuel and electricity for various activities supporting life in space. To enable sustainable space activities, it is necessary to reduce the need to resupply these resources from Earth as much as possible. One of the solutions to this challenge is to create a circulative renewable energy system, which combines a high differential pressure water electrolysis system that produces oxygen and hydrogen using solar energy to electrolyze water, and a fuel cell system that generates electricity and water from oxygen and hydrogen.

    To create such a system, Honda conducted joint research and development with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) during the 2021 and 2022 fiscal years (period ended March 31, 2022). Moreover, in 2022, Honda signed a research and development contract*3 with JAXA regarding the “circulative renewable energy system” that is designed to supply electricity to maintain the functionality of the living space and various systems of lunar rovers. Based on this contract, Honda will be commissioned by JAXA to first conduct concept studies, then to develop a “breadboard model,” an early-stage prototype, by the end of the 2024 fiscal year (ending March 31, 2024).

    Starting external sales and expanding applications of the fuel cell system

    In light of environmental trends in the world, Honda will continue expanding the application of its fuel cell systems, the core of Honda hydrogen technology, beyond its FCEVs in order to contribute to the realization of a carbon-neutral society. To this end, Honda will begin external sales of the next-generation fuel cell system modules in the mid-2020s. Honda is envisioning the initial sales level of 2,000 units per year and will strive to expand sales in stages, with goals to increase sales to 60,000 units in 2030, and to a few hundred thousand units per year by the second half of the 2030s.

    Four core domains

    Due to the unique characteristics of hydrogen, which can store and transport energy at high density and fill the tank quickly, the fuel-cell system is expected to be particularly effective as a power source for heavily used large-size mobility products and large-scale infrastructure as well as for mobility products that require quick refueling where it is difficult to be powered by batteries. Moreover, multiple units of the fuel cell system can be connected in parallel to achieve higher output. Based on these characteristics and strengths, Honda has identified four core domains for its fuel cell system applications for the early phase of its entry into hydrogen business: Honda FCEV models, commercial vehicles, stationary power stations and construction machinery and has begun developing hydrogen businesses targeting business-to-business (B2B) customers as well.

    1) FCEVs - Honda is planning to begin sales of the all-new FCEV model in 2024 in North America and Japan. This model will be based on the CR-V introduced last year in North America and equipped with the next-generation fuel cell system. In addition to the advantages of FCEVs, which enables long-distance driving with short refueling time, this all-new FCEV model will feature a plug-in function that offers the convenience of EVs which can be recharged at home.

    2) Commercial vehicles - In Japan, Honda is planning to start demonstration testing on public roads of a prototype fuel cell-powered heavy-duty truck being researched jointly with Isuzu Motors Limited, before the end of the upcoming fiscal year 2024 (ending March 31, 2024).

    In Hubei Province, China, in January 2023, Honda began demonstration test driving of commercial trucks equipped with the next-generation fuel cell system in collaboration with Dongfeng Motor Group Co., Ltd.

    3) Stationary power stations - In recent years, the power requirements of data centers have been growing rapidly due to the expansion of cloud computing and big data utilization, and the need for backup power sources has been increasing from the perspective of business continuity planning (BCP). To accommodate such needs, Honda will propose the application of its fuel cell systems in the area of power generation, starting from the application as a clean and quiet backup power source.

    As the first step, a stationary fuel cell power station with an approximate capacity of 500kW, which reuses fuel cell systems from Honda Clarity Fuel Cell vehicles, was installed on the corporate campus of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. in California, U.S. The demonstration operation of the station as a backup power source for the data center will begin later this month. Subsequent to this testing, Honda will begin applying stationary fuel cell power station technologies to Honda factories and data centers around the world, through which Honda strives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from its operation as well.

    4) Construction machinery - Honda will take initiative to apply its fuel cell system first to excavators and wheel loaders, which account for a large segment of the construction machinery market, contributing to the realization of carbon neutrality for construction machinery.

    Concerning hydrogen supply for construction machinery which is considered difficult to handle with conventional stationary hydrogen stations alone, Honda will work with construction industry associations and related parties to work toward resolving the challenge.

    Expansion of the value chain

    In order for more businesses to actively utilize fuel cell systems, it is important to solve issues such as reducing development investment and man-hours for installation, suppressing total cost and ensuring a stable and inexpensive supply of hydrogen. Honda will offer not only development support to adapt its fuel cell system to the customers’ products but also operational support such as after-sales maintenance and a stable supply of hydrogen, thereby making a one-stop contribution to the customers’ efforts toward carbon neutrality.

    Initiatives toward the establishment of hydrogen ecosystems

    To achieve widespread utilization of fuel cell systems, it is critical to establish hydrogen ecosystems, that include hydrogen supply. Honda has been supporting the expansion of hydrogen station networks in Japan by participating in the Japan Hydrogen Station Network Joint Company (Japan H2 Mobility/JHyM) and in North America by supporting hydrogen station businesses such as Shell and FirstElement Fuel.

    From here forward, as a new area, Honda will take an active role in establishing hydrogen ecosystems which center around stationary power stations and start from where demand for hydrogen exists. Honda will also proactively participate in projects organized by national and local governments that utilize large volumes of imported hydrogen at ports and other locations. Through these initiatives, Honda will work to build partnerships with companies involved in this new area.

    In Japan, working toward the establishment of a hydrogen ecosystem, together with Marubeni Corporation and Iwatani Corporation, Honda has begun discussing the prospects for hydrogen supply and the utilization of fuel cell commercial vehicles. In Europe, Honda is currently planning for demonstration testing of an energy ecosystem that combines renewable energy and hydrogen.

    While continuing to strengthen collaboration and coordination with various companies in the hydrogen value chain, Honda will continue taking on new challenges in earnest to expand the utilization of hydrogen.
    Trollbait likes this.
  2. Trollbait

    Trollbait Well-Known Member

    The first Mirai reduced fuel cell costs by 95%....
    but they never give a starting value.

    Regarding Honda's four points.

    1) Why no plug in FCEV was always a bit of a mystery. Using the grid to cover part of the car's miles should ease adoption as the infrastructure was built out. Toyota felt P-FCEV would result in lower hydrogen demand that would slow expansion. There is also the technical side of where to pack the hydrogen tanks with a larger battery in the car.

    2)Another question of why didn't they start there. With known routes, putting in refueling for commercial hydrogen trucks would be lower cost than putting in stations everywhere for cars. Also easier to package equipment onto a truck or bus. Reliability might have needed to be better though.

    3)There are already fuel cell back up power systems on the market. Granted, they are natural gas powered. Without government incentives, I'm not seeing why a location would choose hydrogen though. Stationary power uses only have a fraction of the hydrogen supply issues that a vehicle would have. There is still issues. Coupled with renewable energy, and it can become a grid storage option. That will ease demand for batteries in that sector, and there are places where batteries won't work.

    4) Agricultural equipment would also be in this group. Much of this equipment can't simply driven to the station, and getting electricity to a work site can be problematic. Fuel cell forklifts have been around for some time now, so there are niches where it can be the better solution.

    We need green hydrogen. We literally need hydrogen for food. Growing a hydrogen ecosystem out from a stationary use, whether power supply or ammonia production, like Honda is talking about is the right approach if you want to get hydrogen into other uses like cars. Just making hydrogen FCEVs didn't work.

    Unfortunately, hydrogen is now facing another competitor. Expanding a renewable energy hydrogen plant to make methane, methanol, or even gasoline just takes capital. Its higher production costs, but the distribution system is already in place. Reducing carbon emissions from existing fleets is also a big plus. Ammonia itself is a potential fuel.
  3. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    They think we're pretty dumb. Maybe we are.
    After I bought my first Mirai a few years ago I found out
    that the closest hydrogen station was 3,937 miles away. D'oh!
    litesong and xcel like this.
  4. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    GM-Honda Begins Hydrogen Fuel Cell Commercial Production


    GM and Honda announced the start of production at their 50-50 joint venture production facility, FCSM. FCSM is the first large-scale manufacturing joint venture to build fuel cells.

    FCSM was established in Brownstown, Michigan, in January 2017 based on a joint investment of $85 million. The 70,000-square-foot facility has already created 80 jobs. The world-class hydrogen power solutions built at FCSM will be used by both companies in various product applications and business ventures.

    The two companies will focus on lowering development and manufacturing costs through economies of scale, advancing the cell design, simplifying supporting auxiliary equipment, utilizing common sourcing, and reducing the use of costly precious metals. Through this collaboration, the new fuel cell systems will be two-thirds less expensive to make when compared to the cost of the fuel cell system in the 2019 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell.

    Significant efforts have also been made at FCSM to ensure the highest levels of quality while improving manufacturing productivity. The venture incorporates many first-of-their-kind methods for automating membrane-electrode-assembly production and fuel cell stack assembly.

    Both the GM and Honda engineering teams and the companies’ relevant intellectual property and expertise have been integrated at FCSM to create affordable, commercially viable hydrogen fuel cell systems to be utilized in a variety of zero-emissions propulsion and energy management applications.

    GM and Honda share in the belief that hydrogen and fuel cell technology will play an increasingly important role in meeting a wide variety of zero-emissions energy and mobility needs, and each company has provided further details about their individual hydrogen business strategies.

    The problem is that H2 now costs as much as $36/kg, about 5 times the price of gasoline to run an automobile a given distance. I while this is not an automobile story directly, this is just one of the problems hitting the fuel cell in the face with a hammer. The second is availability.

    H2 suppliers in CA are leaving the space in mass. There simply was no profit and the subsidies were not able to cover even a portion of the losses in supply and maintenance of the refueling points.

    BillLin likes this.
  5. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    GM and Komatsu Collaborate on H2 Fuel Cell-Powered Mining Truck

    GM and Komatsu will co-develop an H2 fuel cell power module for Komatsu’s 930E electric drive mining truck, the world’s best-selling ultra-class haul truck. GM and Komatsu will jointly design and validate the technology.

    Lightweight and quick to refuel, hydrogen fuel cells are ideal for electrifying applications traditionally powered by diesel engines. Hydrogen provides an effective method to package large quantities of energy onboard the vehicle, without compromising payload carrying capacity.


    Additionally, fuel cells provide zero tailpipe emissions for vehicles with extreme hauling requirements, like the Komatsu 930E mining truck, with its nominal payload of 320 tons. These vehicles typically operate at a single mine throughout their life, which simplifies the challenges of sizing and deploying an effective hydrogen refueling infrastructure to service the vehicle fleet.

    Komatsu’s fuel cell-powered mining trucks will provide an additional pathway for decarbonization beyond battery-trolley or battery-static charging solutions, without the need for additional charging infrastructure within mines.

    Komatsu has set a target of reducing its global emissions by 50% by 2030 and a challenge target of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050. The plans for achieving these goals include reducing and eliminating emissions within the company’s product offerings, as well as in the company’s facilities and production of its products. Komatsu also works closely with its customers on reducing and eliminating emissions during product use through optimization programs supported by Komatsu technology and service solutions.

    GM and Komatsu intend to test the first prototype HYDROTEC-powered mining vehicle in the mid-2020s at Komatsu’s Arizona Proving Grounds (AZPG) research and development facility. This vehicle will be powered by over 2 megawatts of GM HYDROTEC power cubes.

    GM has been conducting fuel cell R&D for more than 50 years and is one of the only companies with advanced, homegrown technology platforms for both lithium-ion batteries and hydrogen fuel cells.
    BillLin likes this.

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