Page 1 of 1 Honda's fuel cell vehicle, the FCX, has earned approval from the U.S. EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and CARB (California Air Resource Board) - a world first for a fuel cell vehicle.
Based on this approval and the results of road testing in the U.S. and Japan, Honda hopes to commence marketing of the FCX in both countries at the end of 2002, sooner than initially planned. The vehicle marketed in the U.S. and Japan markets in the first three years will be limited to around 30 vehicles. Due to the state of the hydrogen supply infrastructure, marketing regions will initially be limited to the Tokyo metropolitan area in Japan, and the State of California in the U.S. The vehicles will be offered to customers on a lease basis, with lease rates and conditions to be determined at a later date.
Honda announced the FCX-V1 and FCX-V2 fuel cell test vehicles in September 1999, followed by the 4-passenger FCX-V3 test vehicle in September 2000. In 2001, the 4th-generation FCX-V4 was unveiled, featuring improved performance and collision safety. Development of the fuel cell vehicle progressed smoothly, with the help of test data accumulated under real-world driving conditions through participation in a U.S. project for public-road testing of fuel cell vehicles under the auspices of the California Fuel Cell Partnership, and Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport approved public-road testing in Japan.
The EPA and CARB-approved fuel cell vehicle developed for marketing in the U.S. and Japan is called the FCX. Motor torque has been increased by around 15% over the FCX-V4 test vehicle, and its output characteristics in the mid-to-high speed ranges have also been improved, achieving powerful off-the-line acceleration and a top speed of 150 km/h. With a 156.6 litre capacity in the 350-atmosphere high-pressure fuel tank, the FCX has a range of 355 km - 40 km greater than the FCX-V4. The new model is also 40 mm shorter overall than the FCX-V4 while maintaining the same level of collision safety, and features newly designed front and rear bumpers. Page 1 of 1