The company will build its next FCEV in Ohio.
With the final Acura NSX rolling off the assembly line earlier this year, Honda needs another halo product to build at its Performance Manufacturing Center (PMC) in Ohio. That is why the Japanese automaker just announced a new hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) based on the 2023 Honda CR-V. This new CR-V variant will enter production in 2024. Unlike the Clarity, Honda's last FCEV, the CR-V-based model will be built locally in the US and include a plug-in feature.
This will be the first FCEV with the ability to juice the battery using an external charger for shorter journeys and also rely on the fuel cell for longer trips. Honda hasn't shared specific details about the range on battery power versus hydrogen, but more information should come closer to the 2024 introduction date.
"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. "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 factory previously built the NSX supercar and PMC Edition Acura vehicles like the TLX, RDX, and MDX. Since the facility is focused on building low-volume, hand-crafted vehicles, it's well-suited to handle this new CR-V FCEV.
"Our associates at the Performance Manufacturing Center have really enjoyed the opportunity to successfully introduce several specialty vehicles into the market," said PMC plant leader Gail May. "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."
As of this writing, there are only two other FCEVs on sale in the US market: the Hyundai Nexo and Toyota Mirai. Both are only sold in California, where there is infrastructure to support hydrogen filling. In an effort to make FCEVs more widespread, Honda has invested $14 million in California's hydrogen network.