Where conventional fuel cell stacks have a complex structure in which carbon separators are fastened together with bolts, the Honda FC Stack has a simplified structure composed of metal separators with rubber seals that are attached in a unique molding process and enclosed by panels. This reduces the number of components by almost 50 percent compared to a conventional stack, and more than doubles the output density when compared to the Honda FCX V3 stack, resulting in world-leading performance.
Further, the use of newly developed electrolyte membranes greatly improves durability and allows for power generation at temperatures ranging from - 20ºC (-4ºF) to +95ºC (+203ºF) - a difficult achievement for stacks that employ conventional fluorine electrolyte membranes. The driving range of the FCX with a Honda FC Stack also has increased by 20 miles to more than 180 miles (Honda estimate based on EPA's range certification method). Fuel economy is also improved by over 10 percent compared to the current model FCX.
Honda began fuel cell technology research in the 1980s. Tests of Honda developed fuel cell stacks were conducted under a range of driving conditions using the 1999 FCX-V2 and the 2001 FCX-V3 prototypes. Developed with a view to volume production and the ultimate need to recycle fuel cell vehicles, this next generation Honda FC Stack significantly reduces the use of special materials and offers excellent driving performance and low temperature starts.
The Honda FCX is the world's first fuel cell vehicle certified for commercial use by the U.S. government, and the first to meet all applicable U.S. motor vehicle safety standards. The FCX earned certification from the EPA and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) in July 2002. The FCX is also the first and only fuel cell vehicle to be tested and listed in the EPA's 2003 fuel economy guide. In December 2002, the city of Los Angeles took delivery of the first of five FCX vehicles being leased by the city for regular daily use as part of their alternative fuel vehicle fleet. In September of this year, the city of San Francisco joined Los Angeles in committing to the use of advanced Honda fuel cell technology and will take delivery of two vehicles before the end of this year.
Key Features of the Honda FC Stack
Compact, high output
Durable even at high temperatures
(Oct. 10, 2003)