Honda plans fuel-cell semi, ponders hydrogen for small mobility

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Honda lately introduced two new hydrogen tasks spanning each gas cells and hydrogen-combustion engines.

The automaker on Monday confirmed plans for a fuel-cell heavy-duty truck co-developed with Isuzu, which as soon as offered passenger automobiles within the U.S. however has now largely retreated into the commercial-vehicle sector. The 2 corporations plan to exhibit a prototype by subsequent yr, with a market launch following in 2027.

Whereas not confirmed for the U.S., this venture brings Honda into the ranks of automakers which have shifted to creating fuel-cell semis. Toyota and Hyundai each lately introduced plans to broaden fuel-cell semi plans for the U.S., and Common Motors in 2021 introduced plans to construct and help 2,000 fuel-cell semis in live performance with truck maker Navistar.

Hyundai Xcient Fuel Cell

Hyundai Xcient Gasoline Cell

Two days after the fuel-cell semi announcement, Honda additionally introduced a joint effort with different Japanese corporations to analysis hydrogen combustion engines. Whereas gas cells use gaseous hydrogen to generate electrical energy to energy motors, these engines merely burn it rather than liquid gasoline or diesel.

Honda is engaged on hydrogen combustion with Suzuki, Kawasaki, and Yamaha for merchandise within the “small mobility” sector. The identical 4 corporations have additionally gone in collectively on battery swapping for bikes, and signify half of the worldwide motorbike market.

Honda did not say whether or not the brand new partnership, dubbed HySE, would focus particularly on bikes, however an organization press launch stated one space of analysis would contain safeguarding gas tanks in smaller autos. Engine efficiency and fueling infrastructure will likely be checked out as effectively, in keeping with Honda.

Toyota Corolla Cross H2 Concept

Toyota Corolla Cross H2 Idea

As with fuel-cell semi vehicles, Honda is following within the tire tracks of rival Toyota. The bigger automaker has been utilizing and creating an internal-combustion hydrogen engine for motorsports, and has gone as far as to say that it sees a hydrogen-combustion Corolla Cross as an EV various.

Hydrogen combustion has some potential pluses, together with the power to protect present internal-combustion automobile designs, whereas avoiding the necessity for the costly supplies of present fuel-cell stacks. However hydrogen combustion nonetheless produces tailpipe emissions—together with nitrogen oxides (NOx)—so it is not an enormous acquire from an emissions standpoint.

Gasoline cells, in distinction, haven’t any “tailpipe” emissions, and evaluation signifies their carbon footprint will be made suitably low if hydrogen is produced from inexperienced sources. Sourcing of hydrogen may also be a consider calculating total emissions from hydrogen combustion engines—with tailpipes then factored in on prime of that.

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