Auto Service World
News   March 1, 2004   by Auto Service World

Honda Fuel Cell Car Proves its Cold-Start Capability

Honda Motor Co., Ltd. has announced that it conducted public testing in Hokkaido, Japan of its FCX equipped with Honda’s Fuel Cell Stack, proving the vehicle’s cold-start and driving performance capabilities.
riving was conducted on a test track in Takasu as well as on public roads in Furano, Hokkaido. As a part of the test, the FCX successfully started up after being parked outside overnight. Temperatures fell to as low as -11 C(+12 F ), but the FCX, equipped with Honda’s original Fuel Cell Stack, started up promptly as usual. Test drives conducted immediately afterwards demonstrated the vehicle’s high driving performance. Honda will continue conducting cold weather testing in its effort to make widespread use of fuel cell vehicles a reality.
The Honda FC Stack is the world’s first fuel stack to feature a stamped metal separator structure and newly developed electrolyte membranes. Conventional fuel cell stacks have a complex structure in which carbon separators are fastened together with bolts. The Honda FC Stack, however, has a simplified structure composed of stamped 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% (compared to a conventional unit) and more than doubles the output density, resulting in world-leading high performance. Further, use of newly developed aromatic electrolyte membranes greatly improves durability and allows for power generation at temperatures ranging from -20C(-4F) to +95C(+203 F)– 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 40 km , from 355 km to 395 km, while fuel economy has improved by over 10%.

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