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Honda begins tests of advanced hydrogen fuelling station

The station uses the new MC Fill high-pressure hydrogen filling protocol, said to reduce refuelling times by 45%, compared to existing protocols at the same 700-bar storage pressure. By monitoring outlet temperatures means most fuel cell vehicles can be filled within three minutes, and adjust to suit external conditions which can affect refuelling times.

Engineers will use the station to validate the use of the new protocol with the hope of standardising it as the technology readies for a mass-market launch during 2015.

Steve Mathison, Senior Engineer at Honda R&D Americas, Inc, said: ‘In order to meet customer expectations, hydrogen fuel cell-powered vehicles need driving ranges and fueling times comparable to conventional gasoline vehicles. This new fueling protocol will allow FCEV customers everywhere to realize short fueling times over a wide range of temperatures.’

Honda has leased small numbers of the FCX Clarity fuel cell vehicle in 2002. The technology uses a chemical reaction between hydrogen and water to produce electricity used to power the car, producing water vapour as its only by-product.

The carmaker will launch its next-generation fuel cell electric vehicle next year, drawing on technology showcased in the Honda FCEV Concept shown at the Los Angeles International Auto Show in November 2013. This is said to offer a range of over 300 miles.

Alex Grant

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