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The new V Flow fuel cell platform allows for a lower floor
In addition to a fuel cell stack, fuel cell vehicles must accommodate an array of equipment including a motor, hydrogen tank and other system components. Until now, engineers had no choice but to raise the height of the vehicle floor to make room for this equipment. Honda has an elegant solution: the new, high-efficiency, compact V Flow fuel cell platform. Honda’s “3V” system—vertical gas flow, vertebral layout, and volume-efficient packaging makes possible the lowest-floor platform in a fuel cell vehicle ever. Oxygen and hydrogen flow from the top to the bottom of the fuel cell stack (vertical gas flow) and the fuel cells are arranged vertically in the center tunnel (vertebral layout) for new, high-efficiency fuel cell packaging (volume efficiency). In addition, the front end of the vehicle has been shortened by aligning the front drive motor with the gearbox.

V Flow fuel cell stack: innovative water management capability
Compact enough to fit neatly into the center tunnel but robust enough to output 100kW of power, Honda’s V Flow fuel cell stack offers both space efficiency and high energy output. The key to fuel cell performance is water management. With vertical gas flow, an innovative process in which oxygen and hydrogen flow downward through the stack, Honda’s new fuel cell stack takes full advantage of gravity to efficiently discharge water formed during electricity generation. This improves system performance in sub-zero temperatures, achieving a new level of system reliability. The problem of cold-weather startup had been a key obstacle to the commercialization of fuel cell vehicles. In 2003, Honda solved the problem with the introduction of the Honda FC Stack, the world’s first fuel cell that can be used at temperatures as low as –20°C. Now, with the V Flow fuel cell stack Honda has achieved ultra-low-temperature start-up performance on par with that of a gasoline engine.  

3-Motor All- Wheel- Drive delivers powerful driving performance
The FCX Concept drive train features three energy-efficient motors–one in the front and two in the rear. The efficient delivery of this power through all four wheels and the low-center-of-gravity platform combine to deliver torquey performance and agile handling.

Coaxial motor and gearbox
The 80kW front-drive motor output shaft is coaxial with the gearbox for a more compact package and a shorter front-end.
Rear in-wheel motors
In addition to brakes, each of the rear wheels contains a thin, eccentric 25kW motor. This space-efficient layout contributes to the efficiency of the low-floor design, eliminating the need to use floor space for the motors.
 

New hydrogen absorption material doubles tank capacity
One barrier to fuel cell vehicle commercialization has been the need for high-capacity yet lightweight and compact hydrogen storage. One way to augment hydrogen storage capacity is to increase the pressure at which the hydrogen is stored, but this requires boosting tank strength, which means increasing the tank’s weight. Honda has now developed a new approach to expanding storage capacity that does not involve increasing storage tank pressure to the 700-atmosphere level. A newly developed hydrogen absorption material in the tank doubles capacity to 5 kg of hydrogen at 350 atmospheres, extending cruising range to 350 miles (560 kilometers)*, equivalent to that of a gasoline-engine car. And the slim tank leaves ample room for a spacious cabin.
*Honda calculations
 


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