- Honda has announced plans for a fuel cell version of the CR-V.
- This hydrogen-powered version of the compact SUV will be built in the US starting in 2024.
- It will likely look similar to the standard CR-V, but with some visual tweaks.
Honda is giving the hydrogen fuel cell vehicle another shot with a new version of the popular CR-V crossover that will be built in Ohio starting in 2024. It will serve as a replacement for the Clarity Fuel Cell, a hydrogen-powered sedan offered in California from 2017 to 2020. Interestingly, this new model will also offer plug-in capability for its battery pack to allow it to store a small amount of offering only electric range without relying on its hydrogen supply.
This fuel cell vehicle will look just like the standard CR-V inside and out, except for some minor visual differences such as badging, trim and possibly different headlights and taillights. Details are slim on the new powertrain, but we do know that it will use a new power unit that is a collaboration with General Motors. This fuel cell unit, which essentially converts the hydrogen into electricity to power the electric car, is said to be an improvement on the old Clarity’s powertrain and also uses 80 percent less platinum than before.
As in the Clarity, the power unit fits entirely under the hood, and the CR-V’s boxier SUV shape should also help with interior packaging, meaning the gas model’s roomy five-seat interior layout should be retained. However, the hydrogen tank will be mounted in the back, which may compromise cargo space somewhat.
The concept of a plug-in hydrogen vehicle is a new one, and Honda says it will allow owners to charge the CR-V just like a plug-in hybrid or an EV to top up the car’s battery pack. It probably won’t allow for much driving range since fuel cell vehicles only have small battery packs, but it could offer a little more flexibility, at least around town, if you need a little extra range in a pinch or to get to a gas station.
The fuel cell CR-V will join the Toyota Mirai and Hyundai Nexo as the only hydrogen vehicles sold in the States. Honda will likely reveal more information and specifications over the course of the next year as it prepares to begin production of this new model in 2024.
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