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Honda to launch next fuel cell-powered vehicle in 2015

by Ronan Glon

Honda\'s CEO hinted that the hydrogen drivetrain will be linked to an electric motor.

Takanobu Ito, Honda's CEO and president, revealed at a press conference late last week that his company will launch a brand new fuel cell-powered vehicle in 2015 at the earliest.

Designed to be sold in the United States, Europe and Japan, the yet-unnamed car will take the form of a four-door sedan or a big five-door hatchback. It is currently being developed at Honda of America's Research & Development Center in Liberty, Ohio.

Honda has been constantly making improvements to its hydrogen-burning drivetrain since it launched a limited run of the FCX Clarity in 2008. The brand's engineers are taking a close look at the data gathered by the pilot program as they develop the upcoming hydrogen-powered car.

Precise technical details are not currently available but Ito hinted that the hydrogen drivetrain will work in conjunction with at least one electric motor, creating the world's first mass-produced hydrogen-electric hybrid.

Like the FCX Clarity, the upcoming car will emit no carbon dioxide or harmful pollutants.

"Fuel cell-powered cars are the ultimate, environmentally-responsible vehicle," affirmed Ito at the conference.

What remains to be seen is if a big enough hydrogen infrastructure can be set up by the time the car hits the market. In most states throughout the U.S., hydrogen filling stations are few and far between and are only open to fleet customers.

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