What Is It?
Revealed earlier this year in Japan, the hydrogen-powered Honda FCV Concept makes its auto-show debut here in Detroit. On the surface, it may seem like a distant dream because of its swoopy styling and futuristic powerplant, but Honda says that the FCV Concept previews a hydrogen car that may go on sale as early as next year.
On the outside, the FCV Concept looks like nothing else on the road. It has a slippery, futuristic shape; a bold, unmistakable front grille; and unusual wheels designed to maximize aerodynamics. Inside, things are even more like science fiction: The steering wheel is U-shaped, and all the controls use touchscreens rather than traditional buttons or switches.
Under the hood, the FCV Concept boasts hydrogen fuel-cell technology, which gives the car a 430-mile range on hydrogen alone. That’s a dramatic improvement over the abilities of Honda’s current hydrogen car, the California-only FCX Clarity, which boasts a 240-mile cruising range. Other hydrogen benefits include easy refueling (just 3 minutes to fill the car, according to Honda) and zero pollution, since water is the only emission from a hydrogen car.
Will They Ever Sell It?
Honda says that a car similar to the FCV Concept will go on sale in early 2016. While it won’t look exactly like the show car, we don’t doubt Honda’s ability to bring a hydrogen-powered car to the market. After all, they’ve done it before with the lease-only FCX Clarity.
Why It’s Important
Although it’s likely to be sold in small numbers, the Honda FCV Concept will be responsible for advancing the future of the hydrogen car. Along with the Toyota Mirai, a production version of the FCV Concept will boast real-world application of fuel-cell technology, proving that hydrogen cars aren’t just a thing of our dreams. Serious infrastructure revisions need to be made before hydrogen cars go mainstream, but the FCV Concept is one more vehicle that could help bring about those changes.