by unveiling a new fuel cell-powered semi truck, Honda is broadening its bold hydrogen investment

Honda unveiled a new Class 8 truck that runs on hydrogen, the most plentiful element in the universe, as part of their ongoing investment in the fuel. Alongside the automaker’s hydrogen fuel cell SUV that was unveiled earlier this year, this concept car comes at a time when fuel prices are skyrocketing and the future of hydrogen in transportation is unknown. Three of Honda’s most recent fuel cell systems, which are currently being produced at the Fuel Cell System Manufacturing joint venture with General Motors in Brownstown, Michigan, are used in the truck.

With twice the durability and two-thirds the cost of prior generations, Honda is promoting this fuel cell system as the centerpiece of its hydrogen strategy, which it developed with GM over the course of the last ten years.Only water vapor is released by hydrogen fuel cells, which run on compressed hydrogen. In order to move away from gas-powered vehicles that emit emissions and to achieve climate targets, many automakers are implementing this technology for mobile power generators and heavy-duty vehicles.Because of its low energy content per unit volume, hydrogen is difficult to store and needs to be compressed using high pressures, low temperatures, or chemical processes. Light-duty cars with little gasoline storage space will find this especially difficult.Because of its expensive cost and inadequate refueling infrastructure, hydrogen is still a risky investment. Due to California’s meagre investment in fuel stations, there aren’t many hydrogen-powered cars on the road.

As demonstrated by Shell’s decision to close all seven of its hydrogen fueling stations in California earlier this year, even this market is having difficulties.In the first quarter of 2024, just 223 new hydrogen fuel cell automobiles were sold in the US, according to the Hydrogen Fuel Cell Partnership. This represents a 70% decrease from the same time the year before. Honda has a solid partner in GM, which is also investigating different uses for fuel cell technology, and is bullish about hydrogen despite these obstacles, especially for commercial cars.

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