This model will be built at the company’s Performance Manufacturing Center in Ohio.
It will be the first hydrogen vehicle that can also be charged like a battery EV.
Hydrogen power could be used on longer trips to reduce downtime.
Honda announced it will begin production of a hydrogen-powered SUV based on the current CR-V in the United States in 2024.
This vehicle could be a separate model, but the automaker makes it sound as if it will be a new version of the CR-V that arrived on the market for the 2023 model year.
Indeed, Honda says that this version will bring EV characteristics to the CR-V family, which probably means that most changes will be found under the hood.
To power this new SUV, Honda developed a new powertrain that combines a hydrogen fuel cell and a regular EV battery in order to make it possible to drive where there are no hydrogen filling stations.
Since the infrastructure needed to supply hydrogen to drivers is very costly, only a few areas in North America feature a network of filling stations.
This means that strictly fuel-cell vehicles are limited in their travels, which is a problem that the automaker wants to fix with this new model.
Indeed, Honda intends drivers to charge the battery as they would do in regular electric vehicles when driving around town and make use of hydrogen-filling stations when going on longer highway trips.
This is an advantage because filling up with hydrogen is similar to filling up with gasoline, which means that drivers won’t have to make multiple 40-minute stops to charge the battery on longer journeys.
Even with this new powertrain, Honda doesn’t expect to sell huge quantities of the hydrogen CR-V since it contracted its Performance Manufacturing Center in Ohio to assemble it.
This facility is a small factory that is used in dealing with low-scale productions and exclusive vehicles such as the Acura NSX and some of Honda’s race cars.
This announcement shows that the automaker still believes that hydrogen power will play a role in its goal to electrify its entire lineup by 2040.
More details will be released in the months preceding this model’s introduction, which should happen sometime in 2024.