ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronTitle ChevronEye IconIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailPositive ArrowIcon PrintSite TitleTitle ChevronIcon Twitter
Automobiles

Exclusive: Honda to build fuel cell trucks with Isuzu

Japanese automakers see commercial vehicles as better suited for hydrogen power

Partnering with Isuzu, Honda for the first time will provide an outside company access to its fuel cell technology. (Nikkei montage)

TOKYO -- Honda Motor will work with Isuzu Motors to develop hydrogen-powered trucks, seeing more potential for fuel cell technology in commercial vehicles rather than passenger cars, Nikkei has learned.

Honda for the first time will provide an outside company access to its fuel cells, which combine hydrogen with oxygen in the air to produce electricity. The Japanese automakers aim to bring such trucks to market as swiftly as possible.

Hydrogen-powered automobiles have been hailed as the ultimate eco-friendly transport because they emit no greenhouse gases while operating, only water.

But adoption has been hampered by the lack of a refueling infrastructure, which would be easier to create for commercial vehicles traveling fixed routes.

As truck maker Isuzu looks to commercialize a fuel cell vehicle, Honda will consider selling its system to other companies as well, including shipbuilders.

Toyota Motor launched the world's first hydrogen-powered automobile, the Mirai, in 2014. Honda followed with the Clarity in 2016. But the vehicles are complex and costly. The Clarity is priced at 7.83 million yen ($71,000).

The global market for hydrogen autos totaled only about 4,000 vehicles in 2018, British research firm IHS Markit said, compared with 1.4 million electric vehicles sold.

But for commercial vehicles, hydrogen power may be more suitable than electric motors, which need batteries that add weight and take time to charge. As a passenger car manufacturer, Honda saw limited opportunities to commercialize fuel cell technology on its own, and decided to work with Isuzu.

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this monthThis is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia;
the most dynamic market in the world.

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia

Get trusted insights from experts within Asia itself.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Get Unlimited access

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this month

This is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia; the most
dynamic market in the world
.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Try 3 months for $9

Offer ends January 31st

Your trial period has expired

You need a subscription to...

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers and subscribe

Your full access to the Nikkei Asian Review has expired

You need a subscription to:

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers
NAR on print phone, device, and tablet media