Honda Bolsters Hydrogen Fuel Cell Commitment with CR-V

Honda will assemble hydrogen fuel cell-powered CR-V crossover SUVs at its Ohio Performance Manufacturing Center.

Dan Carney, Senior Editor

November 30, 2022

3 Min Read
01 2023 Honda CR-V Sport Touring.jpg
Honda's planned fuel cell electric vehicle will be based on the new 2023 CR-V.Image courtesy of Honda

Honda has announced that it will produce an all-new hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) version of the new Honda CR-V crossover SUV at its Performance Manufacturing Center (PMC) in Marysville, Ohio. Production of the green machine will commence in 2024 after Honda concludes production of its mean machine, the Acura NSX super sports car at the plant.

The shift from the hybrid NSX to the hydrogen CR-V is emblematic of the company’s announced goal to make battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and FCEVs represent 100 percent of its global auto sales by 2040.

While BEVs have gained significant technical and sales momentum, they still remain unsuitable for a sizeable portion of the driving population because of range limitations combined with recharging time, as we experienced during a recent BEV road trip with the GMC Hummer EV.

This new CR-V-based FCEV is the first production vehicle in North America that combines a plug-in battery driving capability with FCEV technology to let the driver charge the onboard battery to deliver EV driving around town with the flexibility of fast hydrogen refueling for longer trips. It is the hydrogen fuel cell equivalent of the plug-in hybrid-electric vehicles currently on the market that provide added driving range by burning gasoline.

Related:Honda Announces $4.4 Billion Ohio Battery Plant for Future EVs

“Honda established our goal to realize carbon neutrality by 2050 and the complete electrification of our vehicle lineup by 2040 is critical to achieving it,” said Gary Robinson, vice president of Auto Planning & Strategy for American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “As we accelerate our plan to produce Honda battery EVs in the United States, we also will begin low volume production of fuel cell electric vehicles there to further explore their great potential as part of a sustainable transportation future.”


The PMC is perfect for production of a low-volume specialty model with unique manufacturing requirements because it was conceived as a small-volume, specialty manufacturing facility that focuses on the craftsmanship of hand-assembled vehicles. Honda says that this makes the PMC uniquely suited to the production of high-quality FCEVs, which require special assembly procedures.

“This facility is perfect for production of a new Honda fuel cell electric vehicle, as our small-volume capability enables us to really leverage the skill and expertise of our team to produce quality zero-emission vehicles here in North America,” said PMC plant leader Gail May.

Honda fuel cell technology milestones include:

  • Honda FCX was the first EPA- and CARB-certified fuel-cell vehicle (July 2002)

  • FCX was the world's first production fuel-cell vehicle, introduced to the U.S. and Japan (December 2002)

  • First fuel-cell vehicle to start and operate in sub-freezing temperatures (2003)

  • First fuel-cell vehicle leased to an individual customer (July 2005)

  • First manufacturer to build and produce a dedicated fuel-cell vehicle (FCX Clarity) on a production line specifically made for fuel-cell vehicles (2008)

  • First automaker to create a fuel-cell vehicle dealer network (2008)

  • Honda entered into a long-term collaborative agreement with General Motors to co-develop the next-generation of fuel-cell systems and hydrogen storage technologies (June 2013)

  • As the next progression of Honda FCEVs, Honda introduced the Honda Clarity Fuel Cell (April 2017)

  • Honda and GM announced a joint venture (Fuel Cell Systems Manufacturing) working toward mass production of lower-cost, compact, and high-performance fuel cell systems (2017)

Related:General Motors Positions Fuel Cells to Replace Diesels


About the Author(s)

Dan Carney

Senior Editor, Design News

Dan’s coverage of the auto industry over three decades has taken him to the racetracks, automotive engineering centers, vehicle simulators, wind tunnels, and crash-test labs of the world.

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