Honda predict the extinction of petrol engines 0

honda-predict-the-extinction-of-petrol-enginesMitsura Kariya, Honda Civic’s development leader, has predicted that the development of hydrogen fuel cell technology will become the ultimate aim in motoring evolution.

During the launch of the new Civic at the company’s UK headquarters in Swindon, Kariya talked of the company’s belief of where the future of motoring is heading – and predicted that traditional petrol engines will effectively die out to become replaced by their hydrogen powered counterparts.

Whilst their rivals around the globe have been releasing new hybrids and electric car proposals, it’s been strange that Honda, a car maker traditionally technologically ahead of the curve, has not had one to show off themself.

That has now changed however, with the newly revealed plans of a fully electric vehicle to be released by Honda in 2017, and a Hybrid Accord (and perhaps a Civic, too) also slated for a next year release. But it’s the additional development of hydrogen powered vehicles that makes the company stand out from its rivals.

“At Honda we see electrification as one of the key aspects for the future of motoring. The conventional power plant, whether it’s a petrol or diesel engine, it will probably disappear in that classic function,” said Kariya-san.

An area that Honda is yet to publically embrace is the rapidly developing autonomous driving sector. When questioned about the company’s vision for this mode, Kariya-san confirmed that Honda “are shifting a lot of resource to the departments for electric production and autonomous driving”. With Honda currently ranked as the world’s seventh largest car manufacturer, this would suggest a sizable investment.

Honda may regard electric vehicles as future for now, but in 2008 they introduced an alternative energy vision in the shape of its hydrogen fuel cell, the Clarity. The concept of fuelling a car with the most abundant resource on the face of the earth and releasing a pollutant no more harmful than water, whilst providing a range equal to its petrol counterparts, seemed like the stuff of science fiction when the company first announced the idea. Honda has not publically followed up its bold prediction with any additional data since then, so has this idea been temporarily shelved in favour of electric?

“Electric technology has not yet superseded hydrogen fuel cell technology. Until hydrogen maturates to become the mainstream propulsion system it will still take many, many years to be de facto,” said Kariya-san.

Honda confirmed that they still believe hydrogen to be the answer; the most ideal solution to our diminishing fossil fuel levels, but they recognise that the technology is totally dependent on infrastructure and the energy supplier.

“Electrification is currently the most popular and best solution, but it’s also short-term. Honda still believes hydrogen and the fuel cell technology will be the ultimate propulsion for the long-term future, but electric is very important to fill that gap until that time for the mass market.”

photo credit: spotlight.com