The power of hydrogen dreams: Honda’s brilliant fuel cell of the future

Honda is very serious about their push toward a carbon-neutral society. So much so that they’ve been relentlessly researching the potential of using hydrogen to “fire up” engines and power their vehicles in and of the future. 30 years of R&D has led to what you see here, the Clarity e: Fuel Cell.

Hydrogen seen to begin powering Honda machinery and engines by 2030

Honda Hydrogen Clarity Fuel Cell Inline 01 Min

Photo: Honda

Electrification is now the primary means of manufacturer brands to promote a cleaner environment. Honda is likewise on-board with this adaptation, however, they have another weapon of choice which is the use of the hydrogen fuel cell. Since 2013, they have been working with General Motors to develop the next generation of fuel cell systems, and with a total of three decades of research, it seems to have come to fruition.

Hydrogen carries much promise as an energy carrier. The principle of its use revolves around “generation, storage, and use”. By way of water electrolysis technology, this “green” hydrogen is less susceptible to fluctuations in power generation regardless of season and weather. The brand will be expanding the installation and application of this technology into its fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV), as well as in machinery inside and outside of the company.

Honda Hydrogen Clarity Fuel Cell Inline 02 Min

Photo: Honda

But let’s focus on the FCEVs. The Honda Clarity Fuel Cell was first built in 2019. Since then, it has continuously been improved through the use of innovative materials, by way of a new cell seal structure, and by simplifying auxiliary equipment, its power delivery has been enhanced with its cost brought down to about 1/3 of more common battery systems. Since then, its durability and low-temperature resistance have also been increased by applying corrosion-resistant materials that lessen deterioration.

Honda is gunning to improve durability even further in the coming years. By 2030, they will also look at means to reduce production and subsequent sales costs when the full-scale penetration and incorporation of fuel cell technology is expected to rise to the mainstream.

Honda Hydrogen Clarity Fuel Cell Inline 03 Min

Photo: Honda

There will be four “core domains” in which Honda’s hydrogen fuel cell will be used, and they will be in fuel cell electric vehicles, commercial/heavy-duty trucks, stationary power supplies, and construction machinery. The first FCEV was launched in the United States last year, and a new model with the next-generation fuel cell system is slated for release in North America and Japan sometime in 2024.

Honda’s initial sales are expected to be at around 2,000 units per year, and by expanding in stages, their target is to sell 60,000 units per year by 2030, and several hundred thousand more units per year in the latter half of the 2030s.

It’s technology like this that makes it a great time to be alive. Mother Earth has suffered enough and finding more ways to promote a more sustainable means of energy and transportation should be every car manufacturer’s goal for the industry to continue thriving and growing without depleting nature’s health.

Frankly, we can’t wait to see all this tech make its way to production automobiles. And with Honda‘s penchant for making strong and reliable engines, the power of dreams may rely on hydrogen sooner than later.

All eyes focused on Honda 2030 and beyond!

Mikko Juangco
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