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2025 Honda CR-V hydrogen plug-in hybrid revealed: Is this fuel-cell electric car the best Toyota RAV4 Hybrid alternative?

CR-V e:FCEV has a long name but refuelling with hydrogen takes about five minutes.

Just when you thought your next car might be all-electric, Honda goes and reveals a hydrogen fuel-cell plug-in hybrid which is ready for the road. In this case it's a new version of the popular CR-V family SUV with the catchy name of CR-V e:FCEV.

The CR-V e:FCEV has a hydrogen fuel-cell powertrain, which Honda has co-developed with General Motors in the United States.

“Leveraging Honda fuel-cell technology expertise continues to play a critical role in our global goal to achieve carbon neutrality for all products and corporate activities by 2050,” Senior Vice President of Auto Sales, American Honda Motor Co Mamadou Diallo said.

“Honda has laid out an electrification strategy leading to 100 per cent zero-emission automobile sales by 2040, including the introduction of both battery-electric and fuel cell electric vehicles like this new CR-V e:FCEV model.”

The new fuel-cell tech is said to be a more efficient and cost effective advancement on the system used in Honda’s Clarity sedan from 2017. 

In a fuel-cell vehicle liquid hydrogen fuel is added much like petrol is to a tank in combustion cars and takes about the same time to fill. However, rather than being burnt the chemical energy in the hydrogen is used to produce electricity with the waste products only being water and heat. 

The new fuel-cell tech is said to be a more efficient and cost effective advancement on the system used in Honda’s Clarity sedan from 2017.

Honda says the CR-V e:FCEV has a range of 435km from a full tank and a full charge, as the vehicle also has plug-in hybrid charging capability and on battery power alone has a range of up to 46km. 

The CR-V e:FCEV will be available for leasing in California, where there are currently 68 hydrogen refuelling stations operating. 

Honda says the CR-V e:FCEV has a range of 435km from a full tank and a full charge, as the vehicle also has plug-in hybrid charging capability and on battery power alone has a range of up to 46km.

Will we see the CR-V e:FCEV in Australia? Well, Honda doesn’t even have a fully electric vehicle on sale in Australia yet, so it would make sense that the brand would bring EVs here first.

Australia also doesn’t currently have a large enough hydrogen refuelling network to support the fuel-cell vehicles. As of November 2023, there were 12 hydrogen refuelling stations operating in Australia.

Toyota and Hyundai have been pioneering hydrogen fuel-cell technology for decades. Currently in Australia, Toyota has the Mirai hatch hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle and Hyundai has the Nexo small SUV, but neither are yet available for private ownership. 

Richard Berry
Senior Journalist
Richard had wanted to be an astrophysicist since he was a small child. He was so determined that he made it through two years of a physics degree, despite zero...
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