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Honda Motor announces plan to expand its hydrogen business

Honda Motor announces plan to expand its hydrogen business
Photo courtesy of Honda Motor

Japanese automaker Honda Motor Co. Ltd. said that it will take a proactive approach to increase the use of hydrogen as an energy carrier and strive to expand its hydrogen business, in addition to continue the electrification of its products, as part of its goal to contribute to a carbon-neutral society.

At a press briefing on February 2, Honda executives Shinji Aoyama, director and senior managing executive officer, and Arata Ichinose, operating executive, head of the Business Development Supervisory Unit, discussed Honda’s hydrogen business initiatives.

At 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 U.S. automaker General Motors (GM), Honda will aim to more than double the durability 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

The world’s largest manufacturer of internal combustion engines (ICE) said it 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 China’s 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 also 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.