Hydrogen Powers the Honda FCX-V3

4/18/2001 3:39:00 PM

The Honda FCX-V3 fuel cell vehicle is the latest in a long line of models the company has developed to reduce the impact vehicles have on the environment through low emissions, high efficiency, and the use of alternative fuels. The FCX-V3 incorporates many of the technological developments Honda has pioneered over the years.

The Honda FCX-V3 uses a pure hydrogen fuel cell system with a compact drive motor and seating for four people. The vehicle also features improved start-up and quieter operation than previous models for improved viability as a commercial product. The FCX-V3 has a 10-second start-up time (compared to a 10-minute start-up time of previous models) and requires about five minutes to refill with hydrogen.

A Ballard Power Systems fuel cell stack is used in the FCX-V3 to store hydrogen under high pressure and create electricity, which in turn drives the electric motor and the wheels. The continuous electric power generation of the fuel cell stack and the powerful, instantaneous discharge capabilities of the newly developed Honda ultra-capacitor combine to improve response and acceleration. Regenerative energy systems, reduction of discharge loss, and other measures have also been integrated to contribute to better economy and highly efficient energy management.

While realizing the ultimate environmental performance of zero emissions, zero CO2, and the use of a renewable fuel, Honda's FCX-V3 also approaches the packaging and ease-of-use of gasoline powered vehicles.

The FCX-V3 also combines what Honda has learned from previous projects including the electric motor drive system developed for the EV Plus electric car, the energy management systems used in the Insight gasoline-electric hybrid car, and the high-pressure gas storage tank technologies developed for the natural gas-powered Civic GX. Honda is also independently researching and developing its own fuel cell stack and is actively involved with the California Fuel Cell Partnership, a coalition of auto manufacturers, energy providers and fuel cell manufacturers.