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.