New Honda-Designed Fuel Cell Added To California Fuel Cell Vehicle Demonstration Program

The new version of the FCX-V3 fuel cell engine reflects the improved performance and reliability of Honda's own fuel cell stack design.

Published: 13-Feb-2001

TORRANCE, Calif., Feb. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- A Honda FCX-V3 fuel cell vehicle equipped with a new Honda-designed fuel cell stack, has joined the fleet of vehicles participating in the California Fuel Cell Partnership's (CaFCP) public highway demonstration program, Honda Motor Co., Ltd., announced today.

Earlier Honda FCX versions were powered by fuel cell stacks developed by Ballard Power Systems, Inc., including the FCX-V1 introduced in 1999 and a previous version of the FCX-V3 that has been participating in the CaFCP program since it started last November. The FCX-V2 was powered by the first generation Honda stack and demonstrated in September 1999.

The new version of the FCX-V3 reflects the improved performance and reliability of Honda's own fuel cell stack design. The CaFCP program will help verify the on-road performance of Honda's fuel cell technology.

The Honda fuel cell stack stores gaseous hydrogen under high pressure to create electricity, which in turn drives an electric motor and the wheels. Combined with a Honda-developed ultra capacitor, it provides excellent response and high efficiency. Environmental performance is also outstanding with zero emissions, zero C02 and the potential to use renewable fuel.

"Honda believes the fuel cell offers tremendous potential as a high efficiency automotive powerplant," said Ben Knight, vice president of Honda Research and Development and the company's CaFCP representative. "We will continue to pursue fuel cell vehicle development with stacks of Honda's own design and others."

The FCX-V3 seats up to four persons and features a startup time of about 10 seconds (compared to a 10-minute startup time of some previous models). Vehicle operation is also very quiet. The ultra-capacitor contributes to acceleration performance as well as highly efficient energy management.

The CaFCP is based in West Sacramento and is a joint-participation project that includes the California and Federal government agencies, energy companies, auto manufacturers and fuel cell stack manufacturers. The objective of the project is to work cooperatively to lay a foundation for future fuel cell commercialization. This includes the advancement of fuel cell vehicles, the development of fueling and infrastructure approaches, and expanding public awareness of the benefits of fuel cell technology.

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