12 Days of Content: Honda Motor Europe

H2 View speaks to Ingo Nyhues, Deputy General Manager Europe, Business Planning & Development, for Honda Motor Europe, about its new fuel cell’s capabilities and cross-sector potential

How has the end of the year been for Honda Motor Europe?
It’s been a busy time. We utilised the European Hydrogen Week in Brussels to have the European premier of the fuel cell system and to reach out to other companies and government authorities, because we are now selling the fuel cell technology externally and ready to offer it to other industries. Europe has a strong commitment to the future development of hydrogen.

Tell us a bit more about the latest fuel cell?
This is actually Honda’s ninth generation of fuel cell system, and the technology has become very compact. Since we started researching it for passenger cars, due to the better handling of materials and production process, we’ve shrunk it down to an 80kW stack, which comes in just about 200kg of weight, so it has a high power-weight ratio. It has a fast response and very versatile, making it suitable for a range of applications. At the moment we are producing one size of the fuel cell system. We will launch it in a new CR-V SUV at the end of February 2024. It will be a combination of plug-in and hydrogen, which is the best of both worlds, and initially rolled out in the US and Japan. But this isn’t the end of our engagement in hydrogen technology.

Where else can the fuel cell be installed?
We see a wide range of potential end usage, from commercial and heavy goods vehicles, as well as construction machinery – such as wheel loaders and excavators – and stationary power generation. Honda has partnered with General Motors with a joint production facility in Michigan. This is just ramping up production volume, and can feel this technology will be in good demand in Europe. Honda has also teamed up with Isuzu – probably the world’s largest manufacturer of diesel engines – for heavy duty vehicles.

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