“Fuel cell cars are too expensive – and there’s no refueling infrastructure either.” You may hear a sentence like this one many times over. Both German-language magazine HZwei and English-language e-journal H2-international have reported regularly about new hydrogen filling stations (e.g., October 2017 issue of H2-international). So, let’s look at the price, which might be much lower than many Germans believe. If you factor in available incentives, an FCV such as the Honda Clarity Fuel Cell would cost only around EUR 42,000
During my research for the article on the second generation of Honda‘s fuel cell vehicle, the Clarity Fuel Cell (see Honda Hands Over Keys for First Clarity Fuel Cell), I suddenly remembered days long past. More specifically, I recalled news pieces that I had written or read many years ago. I did a bit of a search and found the following lines, which I would like to share with you:
“One must recognize the distinct accomplishment of the second-biggest Japanese carmaker, Honda, which – like archrival Toyota – succeeded before all automotive manufacturers in the Western world to supply customers with fuel cell cars.
Life’s hard on Honda: The Japanese carmaker has always been overshadowed by its biggest rival Toyota. Whereas Toyota is expanding its lead thanks to VW‘s diesel emissions scandal, Honda’s efforts to shine in the spotlight, at least by promoting forward-looking technologies, have been met with only a lukewarm press reception. The latest example of that was the corporation’s unveiling of its second generation of Clarity fuel cell cars in the fall of 2015. The presentation attracted much less attention than when Toyota showcased the first generation of its Mirai.
Japan’s federal R,D&D budget for the 2016 fiscal year, which starts April 1, 2016, is 37.1 billion yen (285 million Euro), according to a recent report from Technova, a Japanese advanced technology consultancy. The total includes continuing support for the successful Ene-Farm residential fuel cell program, which will support an estimated 50,000 residential installations this year.
In the good-natured international race to deploy hydrogen fueling stations for fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV), Japan has taken a clear lead, with 74 stations approved to date, a dramatic jump from the 45 stations operating or under construction at the end of 2014. By comparison, California and Germany have about 50 stations in operation or under development.