Newest Honda CR-V is powered by a hydrogen fuel cell

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LOS ANGELES (KABC) — If you want one of the most popular SUVs on the road, but with alternative power, there is a hybrid version of the Honda CR-V to help conserve fuel and offer a lower overall carbon footprint.

It has all the attributes of the CR-V model, but with EPA estimates of up to 43 miles per gallon. Plus, now there’s another version of the CR-V that really goes to the extreme in terms of alt fuel. It’s a hydrogen fuel cell.

“Basically, you put hydrogen into the vehicle. It gets combined with oxygen in the air to make water, and that process also creates energy, and that energy is used to power the electric motors in the vehicle,” said Rob Keough with American Honda.

The 2025 Honda CR-V e:FCEV looks a little different in the front due to a longer hood and front fenders.

It only comes fully loaded, and will only be available for lease to California residents.

It’s essentially an electric vehicle, but unlike a battery-powered EV, it can be refueled in a more conventional way at one of 68 hydrogen fueling stations in California.

“The hydrogen refill process is about the same as you would experience going to a regular petrol station,” noted Honda’s Rob Keough.

It hums quietly along, emitting only clean water and nothing else. Honda will only lease the vehicle, though the lease pricing has not yet been announced.

It’s also actually a bit of an exotic, built at the same Honda facility in Ohio that produced the Acura NSX hybrid supercar. From the assembly to the paint, this is one carefully crafted little SUV.

Honda is certainly no stranger to hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

They’ve been offering them in California to the public for more than 20 years, but this newest one brings a couple of distinct advantages that previous ones didn’t have.

Most recently, Honda offered a fuel cell version of the Clarity sedan. Now, the technology has been applied to a compact SUV, which is the kind of vehicle most people choose these days. Also, the fuel cell CR-V also has plug-in capability for battery-powered driving for local trips, a first for an FCEV.

“It has 29 miles of range on the plug-in battery. So, for a lot of people, that can satisfy their daily commute,” said Keough. The range of the hydrogen fuel cell system is 240 miles on a fill-up, so the combined range of hydrogen and battery is 279 miles.

There are obviously lots of full-battery SUVs on the road, and more are on the way, but Honda’s trying something different, just as it often has through the years.

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