Honda CEO Toshihiro Mibe thinks there’s a marketplace for hydrogen fuel-cell electrical automobiles, however has dismissed Toyota’s plans for hydrogen-fuelled internal-combustion engines.
In an interview with Automotive Information, Mr Mibe mentioned Honda Motor Firm doesn’t see hydrogen combustion powertrains as possible for automobiles.
“We now have carried out analysis into each risk that’s on the market,” mentioned Mr Mibe.
“As for hydrogen engines, we see some fairly tough technological challenges. So, about 10 years in the past, we determined this might not develop into mainstream.”
Toyota has been growing its hydrogen combustion engine know-how since 2017 and just lately revealed a hydrogen-powered GR Yaris idea utilizing the same 1.6-litre turbocharged inline-three-cylinder engine because the petrol-powered GR Yaris.
Toyota has additionally been racing a hydrogen-powered Corolla Sport underneath its Rookie Racing division of Toyota Gazoo Racing within the Japanese Tremendous Taikyu endurance racing sequence since Could 2021.
It’s price noting that these hydrogen-powered automobiles aren’t the identical as hydrogen fuel-cell electrical automobiles (FCEV), just like the Mirai.
The Mirai FCEV depends on chemical response in its gasoline cells to generate vitality, whereas the hydrogen-combustion GR Yaris idea makes use of hydrogen as gasoline for its internal-combustion engine.
Toyota is reportedly taking a look at providing hydrogen energy in its Corolla and Prius ranges in 2023.
Hydrogen is unquestionably a part of Honda’s long-term recreation plan although, in keeping with Mr Mibe. It’ll solely be utilized in gasoline cells for long-range, bigger automobiles, or in gasoline cells as standalone energy packs.
“If we have a look at what is going to develop into mainstream, in all probability for smaller mobility it is going to be EVs, and gasoline cells for bigger mobility,” mentioned Mr Mibe.
“That’s the conclusion to date.”
Honda introduced in 2021 it’s phasing out internal-combustion engines and can solely promote electrical and gasoline cell automobiles by 2040.
Honda’s interim targets embrace 40 per cent of gross sales in “main markets” being electrical (EV) and FCEV by 2030.
The share of EVs and FCEVs in main markets will rise to 80 per cent by 2035 earlier than hitting 100 per cent globally by 2040.
At present, Honda solely sells a choose variety of EVs together with the retro E hatchback for Europe and Japan, and a number of fashions based mostly on the HR-V in China.
Honda is planning to introduce 10 EVs over the following 5 years.
It just lately revealed three EV ideas, the e:N, e:N Coupe and e:N SUV, which might be based mostly on the e:N structure that’s at the moment underneath growth.
Mr Mibe started his stint as Honda CEO in April 2021 and informed the media that “Honda should bear a serious change and act with pace”.
Previous to turning into CEO, Mibe spent his total working life in Honda’s analysis and growth (R&D) division. Throughout his tenure as R&D chief he was tasked with bettering the automaker’s hybrid and EV know-how.