Honda plans to Make Mass Market Fuel-Cell Vehicle by 2020 image

Honda plans to manufacture by 2020 a mass market fuel-cell vehicle.

Recently Toyota announced its plans to introduce by 2015 a feasible hydrogen fuel cell-powered vehicle and now Honda has announced similar plans, with the deadline being in 2020.

“We have to lower our costs so it makes business sense to try to reach a mass market by 2020,” Koichi Fukuo, managing officer in charge of Honda’s drive trains, said to reporters. The price “will have to be reduced to several million yen and the upper limits [of the prices] would have to be similar to those of the premium-grade vehicles in each segment,” Fukuo said.

Although the automaker still has seven years to reach its target, it still has to find a solution to reduce the astronomic costs associated with developing and researching fuel-cell technology. Back in 2005, Yozo Kami, Honda R&D Co.’s executive chief engineer, said the same thing, adding that the price for a future fuel-cell vehicle will have to be reduced by between $30,000 and $40,000 until 2020, and bring it in line with the Honda Accord sedan price.

The current price for creating such a vehicle is somewhere around $100,000, plus the lack of necessary infrastructure. These two set-backs make Honda’s plans quite ambitious, but the automaker hopes that by making GM its partner it will manage to reduce costs.