The 2024 Honda CR-V is impressive, but it’s about to undergo some changes. The 2025 Honda CR-V e:FCEV hydrogen fuel cell heads to California in late 2024.

Honda Will Introduce the Tech for 2025

Honda recently announced that California drivers will be able to lease the CR-V e:FCEV by the end of the year. The new hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle (e:FCEV) looks similar to the 2024 Honda CR-V, but this EV is like nothing America has seen to date.

Lower Cost, Higher Efficiency

Honda developed the new e:FCEV fuel cell system in partnership with General Motors, allowing the new product to be made in Michigan. According to Honda, it offers higher efficiency and improved durability at a lower cost. Those are some big selling points.

The CR-V e:FCEV will have plug-in charging capabilities and an EPA-estimated driving range of 270 miles. This unique vehicle will also have a 110-volt AC outlet delivering 1,500 watts of power for small home appliances, tools, and camping equipment.

What’s the Catch?

There may not be a catch when it comes to the EV itself. The problem lies in the infrastructural challenges surrounding hydrogen fuel cell technology.

Honda’s initial attempt to introduce fuel cells to America in the form of the Clarity was thwarted by prohibitively high prices. The automaker has not released an official price estimate for the CR-V e:FCEV but stated that they managed to cut the fuel cell cost by two-thirds.

A Second Barrier to Adoption

Even with a lower price tag, e:FCEV technology faces a second barrier to acceptance in the US. There needs to be more infrastructure to support it. Infrastructure has been a problem for battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) but is far greater for hydrogen fuel cells.

Edward Sanchez, an automotive at TechInsights, points out that the infrastructure challenge for hydrogen fuel cells is “orders of magnitude” more significant than that of EVs. California has around 41,000 public charging points but only 55 hydrogen fueling stations.

At a nationwide scale, the problem is even worse. There are only 59 hydrogen fueling stations in the US, which means that only four stations exist outside of California, where Honda is rolling out the new technology.

Stick With a 2024 Honda CR-V For Now

Most experts view Honda’s upcoming release of the CR-V e:FCEV as a way to demonstrate how the technology works and address any issues before widespread adoption. However, that doesn’t detract from the event’s significance.
While Honda’s new hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles may be niche products in the consumer markets, they could revolutionize the trucking industry.

BEV technology is prohibitive for long-haul trucking because it requires too much time to charge a battery that big. With hydrogen, that’s not an issue. The time to refuel a fuel cell is roughly on par with using a traditional diesel pump.

It makes more sense for most drivers to stick with a 2024 Honda CR-V than to wait for the 2025 Honda CR-V e:FCEV. However, Californians interested in new technology shouldn’t be afraid to lease one of these potentially revolutionary vehicles.

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