Isuzu trucks to use Honda's FCV technology

Here are some big news if you're into big trucks.

According to Nikkei, the Honda Motor Company and Isuzu Motors Limited are set to team up... again. But unlike before when their partnership centered around passenger car models and SUVs, the new partnership would result in a new range of trucks.

What's different this time is that the trucks will use one of Honda's most advanced and most environmentally-friendly technologies: the hydrogen fuel cell drive system.

Yes, Honda is giving Isuzu access to their fuel cell vehicle (FCV) technology for a new line of commercial trucks; a similar technology that they currently use in the Honda Clarity Fuel Cell production car, the Clarity.

Honda and Isuzu team up for hydrogen fuel cell trucks image

The fuel cell is a power system that generates power from the reaction between hydrogen and oxygen. This process produces electricity which in turn is stored in batteries to drive the vehicle and operate its onboard electrical systems. The only byproducts of the process are heat and water because it involves hydrogen and oxygen which become pure H2O.

The difference compared to a battery electric vehicle is that fuel cell vehicle don't require hours to be charged as it charges itself. The hydrogen is stored in an onboard tank in compressed form which is loaded on fairly quickly, while the oxygen is drawn from the ambient air around the vehicle. That means comparable fueling times to conventional vehicles but with zero harmful emissions.

And being that the system relies on electric motors, that means they should (ideally) develop maximum torque from the get go; perfect for trucks as it should (theoretically) have similar levels or even better torque than diesels. Isuzu, after all, is known worldwide as the specialist on diesel technology in their range of light, medium, and heavy duty trucks.

Honda and Isuzu team up for hydrogen fuel cell trucks image

This isn't the first time that the two companies have collaborated. In the 1990's, Isuzu had rebadged the Honda Domani and marketed it as the Isuzu Gemini. They did this for the last two generations of the Isuzu Gemini from 1993 to 2000. Honda, in turn, had rebadged the Isuzu mu for the U.S. market, and that model became the the first two generations of the Honda Passport from 1993 to 2002. Acura also acquired the Isuzu Trooper as a rebadged model, and they called it the SLX.

Based on the Nikkei report, the two companies are looking to bring these fuel cell trucks into the market as soon as possible. The only aspect holding back the widespread adoption of FCVs is the lack of hydrogen fuel stations.

The report also says that Honda is also considering selling the technology to other automotive manufacturers and even as a means for ship propulsion.