Welcome to the North American Subaru Impreza Owners Club Wednesday November 22, 2017
Home Forums WikiNASIOC Products Store Modifications Upgrade Garage
Go Back   NASIOC > NASIOC General > News & Rumors > Non-Subaru News & Rumors

Welcome to NASIOC - The world's largest online community for Subaru enthusiasts!
Welcome to the NASIOC.com Subaru forum.

You are currently viewing our forum as a guest, which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our community, free of charge, you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is free, fast and simple, so please join our community today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact us.
* Registered users of the site do not see these ads. 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 04-27-2009, 03:53 PM   #1
Scooby Guru
Member#: 73805
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: NEPA
forward in Italian

Default Honda Still Strong on Hydrogen Fuel Cells, But Eyeing Plug-In Hybrids as Well

As the once-favored hydrogen highway becomes a mere side road on the route to oil independence with the Obama administration's push for rechargeable hybrid powertrains as the new favored alternative to the conventional gasoline engine, hydrogen pioneer Honda Motor Co. says it, too, will begin to pursue the way of the plug.

In an interview with Bloomberg news last week, Honda Motor Co. President Takeo Fukui said his company still sees hydrogen as the best long-term replacement for gasoline in the effort to slash automotive emissions of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases tied to global arming.

Fukui, who is stepping down in June as part of Honda's regular executive shuffle, has in the past has been outspoken in his disdain for plug-in technology, calling it an unnecessary intermediate step form gasoline to pure electric power.

Honda has developed a hydrogen fuel-cell sedan, the FCX Clarity, that it leases to select customers in a Los Angeles-area test program, and isn't planning to abandon the effort.

But, Fukui said in a Bloomberg news wire article published this morning, the automaker also will accommodate the perceived preference of the U.S. government for plug-in hybrid-electric cars and trucks.

Unlike a conventional gas-electric hybrid that charges its batteries from on-board power sources such as regenerative braking, a plug-in hybrid gets its initial charge from the commercial grid, by "plugging in" to a wall socket or a special rapid-charging station.

Plug-ins use larger battery pack than a conventional hybrids. They store enough power to permit the vehicle to be driven for an extended amount of time on all-electric drive before the grid charge is depleted and the gas engine kicks in.

Although others, including General Motors, Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai and Volkswagen are developing fuel-cell vehicles, Honda has been the only major automaker championing hydrogen above other technologies and so far has stayed out of the rapidly developing race to bring plug-ins to market.

While federal support of hydrogen development has all-but evaporated in the U.S., the government is providing billions of dollars for battery development programs and for federal tax credits of up to $7,500 for purchasers of plug-ins.

Nissan Motor Co., General Motors Corp, Toyota Motor Corp., Ford Motor Co., Subaru and Mitsubishi Motors, as well as independents Tesla Motors and Fisker Automotive, all are developing rechargeable cars - some using all-electric power, others using hybrid gas-electric drivetrains - for introduction in the U.S. and Japanese markets in the next few years.

Honda, which does build and sell conventional hybrids, hasn't made a formal commitment to produce a plug-in. But Fukui told Bloomberg, and said the same to other interviewers at the recent Society of Automotive Engineers conference in Detroit, that his company now is "thinking about plug-ins."

A recently announced joint venture of Honda and GS Yuasa Corp. in Japan to build lithium-ion battery packs for Honda's conventional hybrids could be extended to making batteries for plug-ins, Fukui said.

Meantime, Honda still sees fuel cell-electric vehicles, which produce electric power from an on-board thermo-chemical reaction combining hydrogen and oxygen in the presence of a catalyst, as becoming an economically feasible technology by 2020.

Honda's FCX Clarity uses hydrogen fuel cell.
Major drawbacks are clean, energy-efficient production of hydrogen - most of which now is "reformed" from natural gas in a process that uses a considerable amount of electrical power - and development of a fueling infrastructure to serve hydrogen powered vehicle. Although there's no new federal funding on tap to continue funding U.S. hydrogen programs that were initiated during the Bush administration, Fukui said Honda isn't giving up on the technology.

On the contrary, he said in the Bloomberg interview, the auto industry must plan for eventual reductions in oil supplies and for growing political and social pressure to reduce greenhouse gases for carbon-based fuels.

"Oil prices are going to go up. When that time comes, fuel cells, solar panels, hydrogen, those will be the key words," Fukui said in the interview. "We will have packages that will be very competitive at that time."
* Registered users of the site do not see these ads.
AVANTI R5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
* Registered users of the site do not see these ads.

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Hydrogen Fuel Cell the wave of the future! I would like to thank the Democrats KingGalantVr4 Political Playground 29 07-09-2008 11:45 AM
Honda plans hydrogen fuel cell car in "3 to 4 years" scott_gunn Non-Subaru News & Rumors 22 06-17-2008 10:54 PM
GM and Toyota Agree: Hydrogen Fuel Cells Are a Crock AVANTI R5 Non-Subaru News & Rumors 30 03-10-2008 01:45 PM
US Postal Service testing hydrogen fuel cell vehicles brainrally Non-Subaru News & Rumors 6 01-06-2008 05:04 PM
GM eyes plug-in hybrid scott_gunn Non-Subaru News & Rumors 8 06-27-2006 02:50 PM

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 03:52 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.0
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Powered by Searchlight © 2017 Axivo Inc.
Copyright ©1999 - 2017, North American Subaru Impreza Owners Club, Inc.