Honda FCV Concept

Honda is aiming to mass-produce hydrogen fuel-cell cars by 2020, Autocar UK reports, with powertrain development head Thomas Brachmann telling the motoring rag that the FCV Concept is “relatively close to the production car.”

“We may need to revise some body parts, but it’s very close,” he said, without divulging how many fuel-cell vehicles the company intended to produce.

In spite of obstacles that still remain, including refuelling infrastructure, Honda sees a future in the technology, and the FCV packs a very usable range of over 480 km, allied to a speedy three- to five-minute refuelling time. Bachmann, however, thinks it’ll be 10-15 years before the technology is widely accepted.

“This is likely unless we change the marketing strategy and also society, in which case (public adoption) might be faster,” he said, adding that Honda is prepared to offer a wide variety of powertrains until people are confident in and accept the technology.

It was revealed during its North American debut that a production version of the FCV could go on sale in Japan by the first quarter of 2016, with North American and European sales to follow later.

Toyota, of course, is the first carmaker to market with a fuel-cell vehicle. The Mirai has a 483 km range, refuels in five minutes and sells for $57,500 (RM207k) in the US.