2003 Honda FCX Fact Sheet

2003 Honda FCX Highlights

  • The 2003 Honda FCX is powered by a hydrogen fuel cell that produces electricity onboard the vehicle. A fuel cell combines hydrogen (stored in a tank) with oxygen in the air to make electricity (and water as a byproduct.) Electricity powers the electric motor, which in turn propels the vehicle.
  • Honda's FCX was certified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) in July 2002 making it the first fuel cell car in history to be certified for commercial use.
  • Unique Honda technology in the FCX includes the Honda designed Ultra Capacitor that stores energy generated by the fuel cell (and energy from regenerative braking) for quick bursts of power during acceleration.
  • The FCX uses technology from a variety of existing Honda products. The EV Plus electric vehicle (produced from 1997 to1999) provides the platform for the FCX and like the EV Plus, the FCX uses an electric motor for propulsion. Honda's existing research in electric vehicles (EV Plus), compressed natural gas vehicles (Civic GX) and Hybrid vehicles (Insight and Civic Hybrid) provide valuable real world experience in performance and safety issues related to gaseous fuel storage and high voltage safety in a vehicle.
  • The FCX provides good driving characteristics. The 201-lb.-ft. of torque produced by the FCX's electric motor is comparable to the torque produced by a V-6 engine. Overall performance is comparable to a Honda Civic.

2003 Honda FCX Specifications

Driving Range to Empty: Up to 170 miles (270km)*
Maximum Speed: 93 mph (150km/h)
Seating Capacity: 4 adults
Electric Motor Type: AC synchronous
Maximum Drive Torque: 201lb-ft (272Nm)
Maximum Power Output: 80hp (60kW)
Fuel Cell Stack Type: PEFC (proton exchange membrane type - Ballard)
Fuel Cell Power Output: 78kW
Power Storage: Honda Ultra Capacitor
Fuel Type: Compressed gaseous hydrogen
Storage Method: High-pressure hydrogen storage tank (5,000 psi)
Fuel Capacity: 3.75 kilograms @ 5000 psi **
Refueling Time: Approximately 3 to 5 minutes
Wheelbase: 99.3 inches (2530 mm)
Weight: 3704 lbs. (1680 kg)
Length: 164.0 inches (4165 mm)
Width: 69.3 inches (1760 mm)
Height: 64.8 inches (1645 mm)
* Official EPA rating ** 1 Kg of hydrogen contains the energy equivalent of 1 gallon of gasoline

Evolution of Honda Fuel Cell Vehicle Technology

  • Honda introduced its first prototype fuel cell vehicle, the FCX V1, in September 1999. The first FCX ran on pure hydrogen, could carry two passengers, used a hydrogen-absorbing alloy to store fuel, and used a fuel cell developed by Ballard Mfg. The electric drive motor generated 49kW of output power.
  • The FCX V2 operated on methanol and an onboard hydrogen fuel processor developed by Honda reformed the methanol into hydrogen for the fuel cell.
  • As Honda's fuel cell vehicle technology evolved, the FCX V3 was fueled on pure hydrogen stored in a high-pressure hydrogen tank. The new fuel cell system on the FCX V3 occupied much less space and passenger space increased to four passengers. The output of the fuel cell was supplemented by Honda's unique Ultra Capacitor that provides instantaneous power response and higher fuel efficiency as it recycles regenerated braking energy. Peak motor output reached 60kW.
  • The FCX V4 further reduced the size of the fuel cell powerplant and related components, which provided room under the floor of the car for two hydrogen tanks with greater total capacity, and used a 78 kW Ballard fuel cell stack. It also employed Honda's Ultra Capacitor for quick response and greater efficiency and range. The range of the FCX V4 with its 5,000-psi hydrogen tanks was 186 miles, the highest of fuel cell vehicles being demonstrated. It also increased trunk cargo space for users with the relocation of the hydrogen storage equipment.
  • The FCX series of prototypes paved the way for the FCX limited production vehicle, which is the first fuel cell vehicle in the world to receive government certification for commercial use. FCX performance in terms of acceleration, range, and packaging continues the evolution seen throughout the development of the prototype vehicles. The FCX is classified by CARB and the EPA as a Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV).

Los Angeles FCX Lease Program
The City of Los Angeles became the first commercial customer in North America for a hydrogen-powered fuel cell car on December 2, 2002, when the first of five 2003 Honda FCX automobiles was delivered. American Honda Motor Co., Inc., is supplying hydrogen-powered 2003 model year Honda FCX fuel cell vehicles to the city under a lease agreement. City employees will use the vehicles for daily business trips.

Honda Fuel Cell Technology Commitment
Honda and automakers around the world believe that fuel cell technology can offer energy efficient, clean transportation and can take advantage of fuel made from sustainable energy sources. Honda believes it is also important to continue to advance internal combustion powerplants and hybrid powertrains in terms of their cleanliness and efficiency, until fuel cell technology and hydrogen infrastructure becomes practical and affordable.

Independent Technology Development
The FCX illustrates the Honda philosophy to independently develop new technology and identify the benefits and opportunities for new vehicle propulsion systems such as fuel cells. This approach allows engineers to better understand all of the fundamentals required to design a system for optimum vehicle performance. And Honda's focus on the customer leads to vehicle designs that emphasize safety, performance, and user-friendly operation. It also provides an opportunity to gain early experience about potential markets, hydrogen infrastructure and key factors for success.

Hydrogen Infrastructure Development
Building a convenient and accessible hydrogen refueling infrastructure is imperative to the success of fuel cell vehicles. Honda is currently studying a variety of refueling concepts that include solar-powered hydrogen stations and home-based refueling systems. A prototype solar-powered hydrogen refueling station is already in use at Honda's R& D facility in the U.S.

Environmental Commitment
Since the early 1970s, Honda has demonstrated a commitment to provide cleaner, more fuel-efficient products. Today, Honda's environmental commitment means developing products powered by the cleanest gasoline internal combustion engines, advanced gas-electric hybrid powertrains, near-zero emission natural gas engines, and, now, a fuel cell power plant fueled by hydrogen - all developed independently by Honda engineers. Honda has a long history of environmental leadership including:

  • The first company to meet the strict emissions requirements of the original U.S. Clean Air Act of 1970 (Civic).
  • The first to market a gasoline vehicle (Civic) meeting the Low Emission Vehicle standard in all 50 states, the first to sell a gasoline Ultra Low Emission Vehicle and Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (Accord and Civic GX).
  • The first to sell a gasoline-electric hybrid car in the U.S. (Insight) and in 2002 introduced the Civic Hybrid, the first mass market vehicle in North America to receive a gasoline-electric hybrid powertrain.
  • The first dedicated natural gas vehicle to be mass produced (Civic GX) in 1998.
  • The first fuel cell vehicle (FCX) to receive certification from both the U.S. EPA and the California Air Resources Board (CARB).
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