Honda Launches Production of Hydrogen Fuel Cell SUV

See how Honda is building fuel cell CR-Vs at its former NSX sports car plant in Ohio.

Dan Carney, Senior Editor

June 5, 2024

9 Slides

At a Glance

  • 29 miles of plug-in battery-only range
  • 270 miles of combined hydrogen/battery range
  • 174 horsepower

Honda has converted its Performance Manufacturing Center low-volume factory in Marysville, Ohio from building the Acura NSX sports car to building hydrogen fuel cell-powered versions of the company's CR-V compact crossover SUV.

Honda engineers have optimized the 2025 CR-V e:FCEV structure and suspension for fuel cell duty. Compared to combustion-powered CR-Vs, rear lateral rigidity has increased by 10 percent, rear torsional rigidity has improved by 9 percent thanks to the added strength provided by the battery pack mounted in the floor.

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Its MacPherson strut front suspension and multilink rear suspension have been completely retuned with specific springs, amplitude-sensitive dampers, and stabilizer bars front and rear to optimize responsiveness while maintaining a smooth ride.

Running on Hydrogen Power

The CR-V e:FCEV is a plug-in hybrid, but instead of pairing a combustion engine with a medium-sized battery and electric motor, this vehicle carries both a 92.2-kilowatt hydrogen fuel cell and a 17.7 kWh battery pack to supply electrons to its 174-horsepower, 229 lb.-ft. electric drive module.

This provides 29 miles of battery-only driving range and an EPA-estimated range of 270 miles for both energy systems combined.

The EPA's miles-per-gallon-equivalent ratings for the CR-V e:FCEV are 61 mpge in city driving, 52 mpge on the highway, and 57 mpge combined.

Related:Honda Bolsters Hydrogen Fuel Cell Commitment with CR-V

The car's fuel cell system is co-developed with General Motors and is built at Fuel Cell System Manufacturing LLC, in Brownstone, Michigan. That company is a 50/50 joint venture between Honda and GM and has a 70,000-square-foot facility for fuel cell manufacturing.

This fuel cell delivers improved durability and higher efficiency with a cost that is reduced by 67 percent from the fuel cell Honda installed in its Clarity fuel cell vehicle.

Friendly Car with Benefits

A benefit of the CR-V's technology is called the Honda Power Supply Connector, which provides a 1,500-watt 110-volt AC power outlet that drivers can use to run small appliances, power tools, and camping equipment.

“Leveraging Honda fuel cell technology expertise continues to play a critical role in our global goal to achieve carbon neutrality for all products and corporate activities by 2050,” said Mamadou Diallo, senior vice president of Auto Sales, American Honda Motor Co. “Honda has laid out an electrification strategy leading to 100 percent zero-emission automobile sales by 2040, including the introduction of both battery-electric and fuel cell electric vehicles like this new CR-V e:FCEV model.”

Related:Video: How Do Fuel Cell Vehicles Work?

The 2025 Honda CR-V e:FCEV will be available for customer leasing in California beginning later this year. Honda has also displayed a Class 8 commercial truck employing its fuel cells as another application of the technology. Click through the slide show to see how the 2025 Honda CR-V e:FCEV is made.

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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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