According to Honda, the next-generation FCX Concept fuel-cell vehicle made its European driving debut at the Gotland Ring in Sweden. They claim the vehicle is 60% energy efficient, about three times that of a petrol-engine vehicle and twice that of a hybrid.
The FCX will be the basis for a new fuel-cell vehicle that Honda is currently developing. Limited marketing for the vehicle is scheduled to begin in 2008 in Japan and the United States. The focus will be, according to Honda, to deliver a new dimension in environment-friendly driving pleasure not found with petrol-engine vehicles. The FCX Concept is equipped with a V Flow fuel-cell platform. In prior versions of fuel-cell stacks, the electricity generation flowed horizontally. This vehicle features a vertical-flow design, which allows gravity to assist in discharging the water that is produced. The result is an improvement in water drainage, which is the key to high-efficiency fuel-stack performance.
The new fuel stack is 20% smaller and 30% lighter than the current FCX FC Stack, but its power output is 14kW greater. The drive motor is positioned coaxially with the gearbox for a more compact design. Overall, the powerplant is about 180kg lighter than that of the current FCX and is about 40% smaller in volume. The V Flow platform has allowed designers to create a low-riding sedan form that would have been difficult to achieve in a conventional fuel-cell vehicle.
Cold-weather starts can occur at lower temperatures than the current FCX model. The FCX Concept carries a compact and highly efficient lithium ion battery as an auxiliary power source. The efficiency improvements amount to a travel range that is 30% greater than that of the current FCX. The interior includes upholstery and door linings made from Honda Bio-Fabric, a plant-based material that offers outstanding durability and resistance to sunlight damage. The vehicle will hold four passengers and has a horsepower rating of 127.
Source: (June 25, 2007). Honda Motor Co. “FCX Concept Makes its European Driving Debut.” Retrieved July 5, 2007 from http://world.honda.com/news/2007/c070625FCXConcept/