In 2024, Honda will begin producing a new model of the well-liked CR-V crossover in Ohio, trying to give the hydrogen fuel-cell car another shot. It will take the place of the Clarity Fuel Cell, a sedan powered by hydrogen that was available in California between 2017 and 2020. A unique feature of this new model is that its battery pack will have the plug-in capability, enabling it to provide a modest amount of electric-only range without relying on its supply of hydrogen.
With the exception of a few minor visual variations like trim, badging, and perhaps new taillights and headlights, this fuel-cell car will be identical to the standard CR-V both inside and outside. There are few details about the new powertrain, but we do know that it will use a brand-new engine that was developed in partnership with General Motors.
The powertrain of the new Clarity is said to be an improvement over the old one, and it also uses 80% less platinum. This fuel-cell unit basically converts hydrogen into energy to charge the electric motor.
The engine fits completely under the hood, just like in the Clarity, and the CR-boxier V’s SUV shape should aid in interior packaging as well. This means the spacious five-seat interior layout must be kept from the gas model. However, since the hydrogen tank will be mounted in the back, cargo space may be slightly reduced.
The idea of a plug-in hydrogen car is novel, and Honda claims that owners will be able to recharge the CR-battery V’s pack in the same way as a plug-in hybrid or an electric vehicle. As fuel-cell cars only have tiny battery packs, this will not really give you a lot of driving range. However, it might give you a little more versatility, at least within the city, if you suddenly need a little extra range or have to get to a gas station.
The Hyundai Nexo and Toyota Mirai are the only hydrogen cars sold in the United States, and the fuel-cell CR-V will join them. As it gets ready to begin producing this new model in 2024, Honda will probably release more specifications and details over the course of the upcoming year.