Honda strikes breakthrough partnership with Isuzu for 2027 release of fuel cell-powered trucks

It’s no mystery that Honda has been tapping into hydrogen as a source of alternative, clean power for mobility and transportation. Isuzu, on the other hand, has been in the commercial trucking business, and with it, its renowned diesel engines. In what is an amazing agreement between both brands, a stronger push for fuel cell-powered heavy-duty trucks is at hand.

Honda and Isuzu want to reduce carbon emissions by way of hydrogen power cells in trucks

Honda Fuel Cell Hydrogen Technology Isuzu Truck Partnership Inline 01 Min

Photo: Honda

Commercial trucks running on diesel have long been seen as a potential primary driver of the hydrogen cell. As far as transportation and mobility go, it’s these trucks that leave a very heavy carbon footprint with every travel that they make. How then, does Honda plan to power Isuzu’s trucks of the future?

According to Yoshikazu Murakami, Chief Engineer, Product Technology Planning Department, Hydrogen Business Development Division, Corporate Strategy Operations of Honda, One of hydrogen’s ability to store and transport energy at high density can greatly benefit heavy-duty trucks.

“From a carbon-neutral perspective, it makes the most sense to directly use electricity generated from renewable energy; however electricity has low energy density and is not good at “storing” the energy. EVs are suitable for commercial vehicles which are not going to be used for long distance driving. However, when it comes to heavy-duty trucks, which need to be able to handle large load capacity and long-distance driving, EVs are not practical because it will require a large capacity of batteries, and that is where hydrogen comes in,” Murakami explained.

Honda Fuel Cell Hydrogen Technology Isuzu Truck Partnership Inline 02 Min

Photo: Honda

He later shared that a breakdown of CO2 emissions in the transportation sector shows that  39.2% were from freight vehicles, including commercial vehicles. Addressing this, he said ” It will be vital to reduce CO2 emissions while maintaining our current standard of living. To this end, we want to utilize FC system technologies Honda has amassed through the development of its passenger vehicles to help making a difference in the world. Out of this sheer desire, we are trying to expand the use of our FC technologies into a wide range of domains, and heavy-duty trucks are our first step in this direction.”

Before eventually rolling out their hydrogen power cells to other (potential) commercial truck brands, Honda is placing durability at the forefront. This along with finding ways to reduce the cost of its production and maintenance will be key to forging new and strengthening existing partnerships in the interest of achieving carbon neutrality in the trucking sector.

Honda Fuel Cell Hydrogen Technology Isuzu Truck Partnership Inline 03 Min

Photo: Honda

“We are in the midst of a game-changing period. I believe that Honda’s electrification, hydrogen and FC system technologies developed mainly for our vehicles can be applied not only to our own products but also in other areas. We are still at the stage where we are steadily progressing day by day, but I believe that the world will begin changing dramatically at some point in the near future. When that time comes, we would like to be ready to help the new world by utilizing Honda technologies,” Murakami shared.

With two giants such as Honda and Isuzu exploring ways to better protect the environment all while keeping mobility and transportation safe and reliable, we won’t be surprised to see more of these partnerships in the future. We only have one Earth, and it’s ventures like this that are worth supporting and looking forward to.

Mikko Juangco
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