Honda Launches America’s First Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle

honda cr v fcev

A Honda associate at the Performance Manufacturing Center in Marysville, Ohio sub assembles the IPU case for the all-new 2025 CR-V e:FCEV. (Credit: Honda)

by | Jun 6, 2024

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Honda celebrated the start of production for the 2025 CR-V e, the first hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) produced in the United States, at the Performance Manufacturing Center (PMC) in Ohio. This vehicle represents a significant milestone as the only FCEV made in America, integrating a U.S.-manufactured fuel cell system with plug-in electric vehicle (EV) charging capabilities.

CR-V e:FCEV: Pioneering U.S. Production

The CR-V e boasts a 270-mile Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) driving range. It offers up to 29 miles of EV driving on a full charge while allowing fast hydrogen refueling for longer journeys. This compact crossover utility vehicle (CUV) provides a dynamic driving experience with zero emissions.

PMC’s production technicians have adapted to new processes required for manufacturing the CR-V e. This includes handling new components specific to fuel cell systems and plug-in EV batteries. Key initiatives include assembling and installing hydrogen tanks, high-pressure piping, and the under-floor battery. The facility also underwent significant modifications to its welding and paint systems to accommodate the new vehicle’s design.

Transitioning from the Acura NSX’s aluminum spaceframe to the CR-V e multi-material unibody construction required new welding robots and manual MIG welding for precision. The larger, all-steel body of the CR-V e necessitated changes to the corrosion protection application process, including a redesigned E-coat dip tank and more robust equipment for applying sealer.

Supporting Honda’s Broader Electrification Strategy

The CR-V e is part of Honda’s larger strategy to develop a comprehensive electrified product lineup. This includes the establishment of the Honda EV Hub in Ohio, which will support the production of battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) and foster expertise in EV manufacturing. Honda’s collaboration with General Motors (GM) has been crucial in developing the next-generation fuel cell system, which offers improved efficiency, durability, and reduced costs.

Honda envisions that battery-electric and fuel cell electric vehicles will comprise 100% of its new vehicle sales by 2040. The company is investing significantly in its manufacturing capabilities in North America, including a recent USD$11 billion investment in Canada to bolster its EV supply chain.

Driving Experience and Commitment to U.S. Manufacturing

The CR-V e offers a customizable driving experience with selectable drive modes, including EV and Sport modes. Refueling with hydrogen is comparable in time to filling a gasoline tank, and recharging the vehicle takes just 1.8 hours with a level 2 charger, adding up to 29 miles of range.

Additionally, the Honda Power Supply Connector enables the CR-V e to power small home appliances, power tools, or camping equipment, and charge the new Honda Motocompacto e-scooter, enhancing its versatility.

Honda has been manufacturing in America for over 40 years, with a significant presence across 12 manufacturing plants. The company has invested $19 billion in U.S. operations, with recent investments focusing on expanding its electrified vehicle production capabilities.

The production of the CR-V e marks a pivotal step in Honda’s journey toward an electrified future, reflecting its dedication to innovation and sustainability in the automotive industry.

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