2025 Honda CR-V e:FCEV: The Hybrid Hydrogen Crossover Easing Range Anxiety

2025 Honda CR-V e:FCEV: The Hybrid Hydrogen Crossover Easing Range Anxiety

Initial Impressions: The 2025 Honda CR-V e:FCEV introduces a substitute player to the electric scene

Interestingly, the charging inlet located on the vehicle’s front side panel could be the feature that ensures those behind the wheel of the 2025 Honda CR-V e:FCEV remain calm about their driving distance capabilities.

This indicates an electric range akin to that of a plug-in hybrid for daily travel, eliminating the requirement for hydrogen. This is a shift from the small, hybrid-like batteries that have commonly been used in fuel-cell cars until this point.

In summary, this fusion of technology represents both a highly anticipated development and a significant acknowledgment of the current state of affairs for vehicles powered by fuel cells.

The automobile industry has made significant advancements, constantly enhancing and evolving their designs, yet the support systems have not kept pace. Hydrogen fuel, initially touted as having a similar range and refueling speed to gasoline, has proven unreliable due to numerous shortages, causing skepticism among pioneers of the technology. Moreover, the prediction of affordable hydrogen fuel costs, once estimated at half a dollar per gallon equivalent by a government-backed research, has not come to fruition.

2025 Honda CR-V with electric fuel cell technology

Starting in January, the cost of hydrogen soared to an impressive $33.50 per kilogram, which is comparable to the energy content of a gallon of gas. To completely refill its 4.3-kilogram tank, which is pressurized to 10,000 psi with hydrogen gas, you would need to spend roughly $144. This full tank would allow you to travel a distance of 241 miles, as estimated by the EPA. When you’re at home, you have the option to connect to a 240-volt residential charging station for a few hours. By spending approximately $4.00 on electricity, which is the going rate in California, you can drive an extra 29 miles without having to rely on hydrogen.

Honda is keeping the exact amount of the battery reserved for charging under wraps. However, they have indicated that it’s no less than the 1.6-kwh battery allocation seen in the Clarity Fuel Cell to aid the fuel cell’s power delivery, which isn’t immediate. Currently, we’re guessing roughly 14 kwh is set aside for external charging, although the engineers have advised that this figure is subject to change.

Gaining a real sense of the powertrain’s daily usability will require a more extended period of use. However, during a short test drive of the CR-V e:FCEV last week, which had nearly a full hydrogen tank and battery, it became apparent that this entirely electric variant of the well-liked CR-V operates smoothly and quietly, reminiscent of a battery-electric vehicle.

2025 Honda CR-V with electric fuel cell technology

Developing a persuasive hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle wasn’t the challenge in this case. The former Honda Clarity Fuel Cell sedan had already demonstrated this capability. Along with competitors like the Hyundai Nexo crossover and the Toyota Mirai sedan—which I’ve proposed might be Toyota’s top-performing sedan—it proved that fuel-cell technology can deliver notable drive quality and performance.

Over the last twenty years, there’s been a consistent improvement in fuel-cell vehicles, and I’ve had the opportunity to test drive almost every model. The process of refueling with hydrogen has been expedited, albeit in limited locations; the fuel-cell units have become more silent and integrate more seamlessly; the overall design is continually enhancing; and the driving experience has advanced significantly.

2025 Model of the Honda CR-V with electric fuel cell technology.

What’s the reason behind fuel-cell cars not having charging ports before? Sources say that previous attempts at fuel-cell cars avoided additional battery capacity because it went against the goal of moving towards fuel-cell engines, as it would add extra weight and complicate the design. Also, it was believed that including charge ports would hinder the development of hydrogen fuel stations.

Yoshikazu Tanaka, the chief engineer for Toyota Mirai, explained to Green Car Reports in 2020 that the decision to omit a charging port from the model was due to the need for enhancing the hydrogen infrastructure through usage and consumption. He stated that if people could charge their vehicles at home, it would lead to less hydrogen consumption.

2025 Model of the Honda CR-V with Electric Fuel Cell Technology

The inaugural fuel-cell vehicle launches following hydrogen’s shift in direction

After a four-year hiatus, by 2024 the landscape has transformed. Every car manufacturer previously advocating for hydrogen has recognized that its use in passenger cars is diminishing. Instead, there’s a consensus that the more immediate potential of fuel-cell technology lies outside of personal vehicles. Honda is diversifying, exploring electric truck ventures, monitoring a fixed fuel-cell setup as an emergency power source at its data facility, and even considering uses in the aerospace sector.

The e:FCEV now includes a charging port, indicating that Honda may no longer feel the need to demonstrate its technology compared to electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids. Furthermore, Honda does not appear to be driven to give their fuel-cell vehicle a distinct design or form. To most car consumers, it will likely look like a slightly updated version or a new variant of the common family SUV from a distance.


Module powered by hydrogen fuel cells from Honda

Module for Honda’s hydrogen fuel cell

Module for Honda’s hydrogen fuel cells

This unique CR-V, much like its fellow fuel-cell counterparts, has evolved past the point of being just a mobile test tube. Thanks to over a quarter-century of refinement, its fuel-cell technology has matured. In basic terms, thin slices arranged inside facilitate a chemical interaction between oxygen and hydrogen, generating electric power, excess heat, and a bit of water vapor as byproducts.

The appearance may be simple, but the execution is of the highest quality. The era when fuel-cell stacks made noise comparable to a Dustbuster left on beneath the seats is a thing of the past. The operation of the fuel-cell stack is incredibly quiet, and you’ll need to know the specific sound to detect it. Additionally, there’s no risk of stepping in water while putting items in the car; Honda has smartly moved the fuel-cell’s drainage point to the interior of the right rear tire, instead of the traditional location at the tailpipe.

In the midst of these mixed messages, we are witnessing the launch of what Honda has labeled its second-generation „fuel cell module.“ This technology, created in collaboration with GM and produced in Michigan, is being redirected by the two firms to focus on commercial and construction vehicles, agricultural machinery, and fixed power supply systems.

Toyota has revealed plans to explore the potential of hydrogen fuel-cell technology for car production. Meanwhile, Honda, although not fully committed to the idea for vehicles just yet, is implementing this technology to provide supplementary power to its U.S. R&D facilities, utilizing repurposed systems from its discontinued Clarity Fuel Cell model.

2025 Model of the Honda CR-V with Electric Fuel Cell Technology

2025 Honda CR-V with electric Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle technology.

2025 Honda CR-V with electric fuel cell technology

The latest CR-V e:FCEV model has a lower hydrogen capacity, offering 92.2 kw of power compared to the earlier version’s 103 kw found in the Clarity Fuel Cell. This decrease is due to Honda’s initiative to streamline the fuel-cell module’s size. The company has managed to cut costs and improve the module’s longevity in the process. Additionally, Honda asserts that the new design significantly diminishes the noise and vibrations produced by the unit. The fuel-cell system includes an air-to-air intercooler and individual cooling mechanisms for each cell, enhancing its performance. It’s also capable of operating in extremely cold conditions, with a startup threshold of -22 degrees Fahrenheit.

One of the most challenging problems with fuel-cell vehicles is finding a suitable spot to place the hydrogen tanks. These tanks have to be round, but that design doesn’t mesh well with the layout of seats, storage areas, or aerodynamics. Although the Nexo, Mirai, and the earlier Clarity Fuel Cell models all offered a range exceeding 300 miles, they often faced compromises with space, usually affecting the trunk or back seating area. However, the e:FCEV appears to have focused more on resolving these space issues rather than extending the driving range.

Honda CR-V e:FCEV has been transformed into an eco

The storage of hydrogen is still divided between two cylindrical containers, though the overall capacity has been reduced to 4.3 kg from the previous 5.5 kg found in the Clarity Fuel Cell. Essential elements of the hydrogen mechanism and the powertrain have been designed to be modular, and the electric vehicle’s battery is located beneath the floor in the center of the car. The two containers are positioned horizontally underneath and just behind the rear seats, ensuring that there’s no compromise on the passenger area compared to the CR-V Hybrid.

2025 Honda CR-V e:FCEV Model

2025 Model of Honda CR-V with Electric Fuel Cell Vehicle Technology

2025 Model of the Honda CR-V with Electric Fuel Cell Technology

The e:FCEV offers a similar seating experience to other CR-V models, both in the front and back seats. However, when you lay the back seats flat, there’s a noticeable bump on the floor to contend with. Despite this, a double-tiered rear cargo shelf helps to optimize the space for everyday usage. The rear seating area provides ample head and leg space, even behind a tall driver. Although the seats lack substantial lateral support, they are nonetheless plush and comfortable.

Upcoming Honda CR-V Hybrid Model for 202

Upcoming 2025 model of the Honda CR-V with electric fuel cell

Upcoming 2024 model of the Honda CR

2025 Model of the Honda CR-V with Electric Fuel Cell technology

Externally, the vehicle sports modest adjustments to the front and back aesthetics, making it appear slightly more refined. It comes with distinct 10-spoke, 18-inch alloy wheels that blend seamlessly with the existing CR-V models. A more prominent grille can be noted towards the bottom. Additionally, the front portion of the car has been lengthened by roughly four inches. Its clear taillight covers and lower panel embellishments lend it a slightly divergent character, yet these changes are not very striking, even when compared to the Hybrid version.

Similar to other CR-V versions, the most noticeable feature in the front seating space is likely the honeycomb mesh centerpiece. Additionally, the FCEV boasts unique seats upholstered in eco-friendly synthetic leather and a steering wheel wrapped in the same material.

2025 Honda CR-V with electric fuel cell technology

The CR-V e:FCEV, which is unavailable to American consumers as a PHEV, operates on front-wheel drive and generates a maximum of 174 horsepower along with 229 pound-feet of torque. Honda has not provided a maximum power rating for the scenario where the vehicle has depleted its hydrogen supply but continues to operate on a fully charged battery. It is acknowledged by the technical team that the fuel cell module must be operational to achieve top power performance.

Honda has stated that for the development of the e:FCEV, it utilized numerous components from the CR-V Plug-In Hybrid sold in Europe, such as its temperature-controlled lithium-ion battery, the inverter, and the electric motor. The total weight of the fuel-cell plug-in model is akin to that of the plug-in hybrid variant and is estimated to be about 500 pounds heavier than the CR-V Hybrid, which would put it in the vicinity of 4,300 pounds.

Honda has stated that the CR-V PHEV can go from 0 to 62 mph in 9.5 seconds, thanks to a motor that delivers 181 horsepower and 247 pound-feet of torque. For the fuel-cell variant, you can anticipate it reaching 0 to 60 mph in roughly 10 seconds. The CR-V e:FCEV starts off the line with a decent amount of zip but won’t have you feeling glued to your seat. During my test drive, which reached speeds of around 55 mph, I observed that the powertrain lost some of its liveliness.

2025 Model of Honda CR-V with Electric Fuel Cell Technology

The FCEV has been equipped with a redesigned front bulkhead and a novel rear tank frame, which doubles as a structural component, to accommodate the varying space requirements of the fuel cell module within the impact zones. It’s only upon close inspection that one can discern the slightly extended front end of the vehicle. Additionally, the vehicle’s rear rolling stiffness has been enhanced by reinforcing the mounts for the rear stabilizer bar, a feature present at both the front and rear of the vehicle.

After testing the e:FCEV and the American version of the CR-V Hybrid consecutively, my experience was confined to navigating a few angular bends near storage buildings and commercial centers. It seemed to me that the e:FCEV felt bulkier on the road and somewhat more rigid in its handling, probably to manage its heft, resulting in more pronounced jolts when traversing significant bumps and train tracks. Generally speaking, the ride quality was seamless, yet it didn’t spark any excitement in terms of performance.

Upcoming 2025 Honda CR-V with Electric Fuel Cell Vehicle Technology and the 2024 Honda CR-V featuring Hybrid Power

Electric vehicle-inspired regeneration settings enable the powering of various devices. The hybrid CR-V distinguishes itself with minimal design changes. Instead of a traditional gear stick, there are buttons for gear selection, and the driving mode options (Normal, Sport, and Econ) are now placed on the console’s right, together with the engine operation buttons (Auto, EV, Save, and Charge). The EV setting maintains the use of the stored electric charge until it’s depleted, while the Save mode predominantly runs on the hydrogen fuel cell, tapping into the battery reserve sparingly. It’s notable that Sport and Save modes are mutually exclusive, as maximum power demands the fuel cell’s full attention. Additionally, there are four deceleration levels accessible via metal paddles, similar to those in Civic and Accord hybrids, with the most intense setting not quite allowing for driving with just one pedal.

2025 model of the Honda CR-V with electric fuel cell technology.

The accompanying accessory with the CR-V provides access to a 110-volt electric socket capable of operating gadgets, machinery, outdoor gear, or an AC unit, with a capacity of up to 1.5 kilowatts. Honda has hinted that the CR-V e:FCEV model could eventually support extended V2X capabilities, which would enable the car to exchange power with the electrical grid, residential spaces, or other cars, although this feature is not currently available.

The FCEV comes in a limited palette of just two hues and is exclusively available in the high-end Touring model, which boasts amenities such as warming seats in the front, a temperature-controlled steering wheel, cordless device charging, an audio system from Bose Centerpoint with 12 speakers, a digital gauge display measuring 10.3 inches, and Honda’s own 8.9-inch infotainment screen that supports cordless integration of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Connecting my iPhone was a breeze, and I utilized CarPlay throughout my brief test drive. Switching between CarPlay and the informative screens that detail the vehicle’s power system is a seamless experience.

2025 Honda CR-V e:FCEV becomes the 2025 model

A unique twist on the CR-V design

Upon the launch of the Clarity Fuel Cell, Honda highlighted their expectation that although the initial sales figures for the vehicle would reach into the thousands, future models of this new generation would see sales skyrocket into the tens of thousands.

Honda has set a target to produce 2,000 fuel cell systems each year for various uses. Initially, they plan to roll out 300 of the CR-V e:FCEV models every year, with aspirations to double that figure. These vehicles will be available exclusively via a unique leasing arrangement, and Honda will subsidize a portion of the hydrogen fuel costs. Additionally, the e:FCEV is eligible for use in California’s high-occupancy vehicle lanes, even for solo drivers.

Upcoming 2025 Model of the Honda CR-V with Electric Fuel Cell

The e:FCEV essentially presents itself as a high-end vehicle while bearing the appearance of a CR-V model. Honda produces these vehicles in a limited quantity, with a few hundred units crafted annually in Marysville, Indiana. It’s important to highlight that these cars are not products of a conventional automated production line; rather, each FCEV requires a full 20 days to be assembled by hand.

Honda is finally introducing hydrogen fuel-cell technology in an innovative way—one that is practical for the current, imperfect hydrogen infrastructure, rather than depending on a potential future setup that may or may not be dependable and cost-effective.

Currently, electric batteries are leading the charge, but there’s potential for fuel cells to take over in the future, once we’ve ironed out the kinks with the supporting systems and the production of hydrogen. In light of this, the CR-V e:FCEV serves as an impressive placeholder with smooth performance.




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