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Honda FCX with Breakthrough Fuel Cell Stack Proves its Cold-Start Performance Capabilities in Public Test

TORRANCE, Calif., Feb. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Marking a significant
breakthrough for fuel cell technology, Honda Motor Co., Ltd, today announced
that it has conducted a successful cold-weather demonstration of its FCX fuel
cell vehicle equipped with a Honda Fuel Cell Stack. Demonstrating the
vehicle's cold-weather performance capabilities and its ability to start in
below freezing temperatures, a major hurdle in the drive to create a truly
mass-marketable fuel cell vehicle.
"This is a tremendous breakthrough for Honda and everyone whose dream it
is to make fuel cell power a reality," said Ben Knight, vice president of
Honda R&D Americas. "We still have many hurdles to cross, but this is
certainly a significant step in the right direction."
Testing was conducted at Honda's test track and on public roads on the
northern Japan island of Hokkaido. As a part of the test, the FCX
successfully started after being parked outside overnight in temperatures as
low as -11 degrees C (+12 degrees F). Test drives conducted immediately
afterward demonstrated the vehicle's excellent cold weather driving
performance. Honda will continue cold weather testing in its efforts to make
widespread use of fuel cell vehicles a reality.
The Honda FCX is the first fuel cell vehicle to be certified for regular
commercial use by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the California
Air Resources Board, and is currently being used by customers in the U.S. and
Japan.
The Honda FC Stack -- which the company plans to make commercially
available within the next year -- is the world's first fuel stack to feature
below-freezing start capabilities, and the first to utilize a stamped metal
separator structure and newly developed electrolyte membranes. Conventional
fuel cell stacks have a complex structure in which carbon separators are
fastened together with bolts. The Honda FC Stack, however, has a simplified
structure composed of stamped metal separators with rubber seals that are
attached in a unique molding process and enclosed by panels.
The new stack reduces the number of components by almost 50 percent
(compared to earlier Honda prototype units) while more than doubling the
output density, resulting in world-leading performance. Use of newly
developed aromatic electrolyte membranes greatly improves durability and
allows for power generation at temperatures ranging from -20 degrees C
(-4 degrees F) to +95 degrees C (+203 degrees F), a milestone achievement for
stacks that employ conventional fluorine electrolyte membranes. Driving range
and fuel economy have also been increased by more than 10 percent compared
with the FCX currently in fleet use.

Specifications of the Honda FC Stack-equipped FCX

Name FCX with Honda FC Stack
Number of occupants 4
Max. Speed 93mph
Motor Max. Output 80kW (107hp)
Max. Drive torque 272N*m (201 lb-ft)
Type AC synchronous electric motor
(manufactured by Honda)
Fuel cell stack
(2 units) Type PEMFC
(Proton exchange membrane fuel cell)
(manufactured by Honda)
Output 86kW
Fuel Type Compressed Hydrogen
Storage High-pressure hydrogen tank
(5000psi)
Capacity 156.6 liters
Dimensions (L x W x H, mm) 4165 x 1760 x 1645
Energy storage Ultra Capacitor
(manufactured by Honda)
Vehicle range
(Honda estimate based on EPA mode) More than 180 miles (real world)

For more information and downloadable high-resolution images of the Honda
FCX, Honda fuel cell stack or other Honda vehicles, please visit
http://www.hondanews.com. For consumer information, please visit http://www.honda.com.



SOURCE Honda Motor Co., Ltd
Web Site: http://www.honda.com
 
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