|Honda Introduces New Fuel Cell-Powered Vehicle, FCX-V4|
| Tokyo, September 4, 2001 --- Honda Motor Co., Ltd. today announced a new fuel cell-powered vehicle, FCX-V4, which achieves performance closer to traditional mass-produced vehicles than previous fuel cell-powered vehicles. Improvements have been achieved in driving performance, including maximum speed and acceleration, and cruising distance has been extended. New collision-safety measures are also incorporated into FCX-V4.
The previous experimental model, FCX-V3, was highly evaluated for its engine starting characteristics, quietness and vehicle starting and acceleration. By comparison, the maximum speed of FCX-V4 has increased from 130 km/h to 140 km/h and the acceleration performance has been further improved.
Each component of the fuel cell unit in FCX-V4 is newly designed, achieving a more compact package. Adopting newly designed high-pressure hydrogen fuel tanks compatible with 350 atmospheres contributed to a considerable increase in the vehicle's cruising distance, which was increased, from 180 km in the previous model, to 300 km. Installation of the hydrogen fuel tanks under the passenger cabin floor, enabled designers to create luggage space.
In the area of collision safety, crushable zones were designed in the front and the rear of the vehicle, resulting in improved safety characteristics. The size of the radiator has been enlarged for FCX-V4, improving its cooling performance. For the interior, the digital meter is newly designed to achieve a design enabling drivers to grasp at a glance how the fuel cells and ultracapacitors perform energy management.
Honda has conducted extensive verification tests under a variety of conditions to determine the market feasibility of fuel cell-powered vehicles. Honda has participated in the California Fuel Cell Partnership (CaFCP), a public road testing project for fuel cell-powered vehicles in the U.S. From November 2000 through August 2001 Honda fuel cell vehicles have accumulated 6,300 test miles (approximately 10,000 km), steadily accumulating actual driving data. Honda also began public road tests in Japan in July 2001.
Honda has long held that the fuel cell will be the next-generation power plant needed to address challenges such as developing alternative fuels, reducing exhaust gas emissions, and reducing the effects of global warming. Honda will continue to accumulate data from road tests in the United States and Japan, using the data to improve its basic fuel cell technology, with the objective of introducing a production fuel cell vehicle in 2003.