Vitesco Technologies will deliver its EMR3 (Electronics Motor Reducer, 3rd Generation) integrated axle drive to Honda for its all new CR-V e:FCEV that will be marketed in the US and in Japan later in the year.

It is the first time that a Vitesco Technologies’ drive system is integrated into a hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicle (FCEV).

Along with the axle drive, Honda will install Vitesco Technologies’ fuel cell stack bypass valve to control the air flow to and from the fuel-cell.

Vitesco notes that while the production numbers of the CR-V e:FCEV will be low, the vehicle is highly innovative. It combines a long range and quick re-fuelling of an electric vehicle with a fuel-cell system with the option to drive up to 60 kilometres purely electric with power from the 17,7 kWh high-voltage battery.

In addition, the driver has a 110 V electric outlet in the car to supply electric devices with up to 1,500 W consumption. The vehicle can therefore become a clean power source during power outages as well as for outdoor recreational activities.

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“We are proud to deliver our proven EMR3 axle drive system to a car that combines so many innovative elements of clean mobility. It is good to see our drive technology fitting so seamlessly into Honda’s pursuit of carbon neutrality,” says Thomas Stierle, Member of the Executive Board and head of the Electrification Solutions division of Vitesco Technologies.

Vitesco Technologies’ EMR3 axle drive is a platform that integrates up to three drive system components in one unit: Electric motor, power electronics and reducer. For the Honda e:FCEV Vitesco Technologies will deliver an electric motor and power electronics version without reducer. Owed to very compact dimensions, low weight, high efficiency, and ease of vehicle integration, the EMR3 is one of the most successful Tier 1 axle drive systems on the market.

By the end of March 2024 more than 900,000 EMR3 Vitesco Technologies units were delivered to many brands and models worldwide.

The EMR3 version for the CR-V e:FCEV was jointly developed by engineers in Europe, China and Japan. In the Honda SUV it pushes out 174 horsepower and offers 229 lb.-ft. peak torque. With a full hydrogen tank the vehicle is expected to have a range of over 600 kilometres plus an additional purely electric range of more than 60 kilometres.

Manufacturing of the EMR3 has commenced at the Vitesco Technologies site in Tianjin, China.

“Hydrogen fuel-cell systems offer an attractive option for stress-free, long-distance sustainable mobility. Our axle drive systems work smoothly and without noteworthy changes in an electric car with fuel cell system. This is another future proof for our successful drive technology,” says Gunter Muehlberg, Head of Product Management High Voltage Drives at Vitesco Technologies.

Honda CR-V e:FCEV

Honda’s market experience with hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles began with introduction of the Honda FCX in December 2002, the world’s first zero-emission fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) to receive certification for use from both the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the California Air Resources Board (CARB), as well as the first FCEV leased to individual customers.

The CR-V e:FCEV is built at Honda’s Performance Manufacturing Center in Marysville, Ohio, and is the only fuel-cell electric passenger vehicle made in America.

The 5-passenger car is the first application of the second-generation Honda Fuel Cell Module, which is produced at Fuel Cell System Manufacturing, LLC (FCSM) in Michigan, offering improved durability, higher efficiency, increased refinement and lower cost compared to Honda’s previous generation fuel cell system.

Co-developed with General Motors (GM), the next-generation Honda Fuel Cell Module leverages the knowledge, know-how and economies of scale of both companies and will reduce the cost by two-thirds compared to the cost of the fuel cell system in the Honda Clarity Fuel Cell. This significant cost reduction was achieved by various measures including the adoption of innovative materials for electrodes, advancement of a cell sealing structure, simplification of the supporting equipment and the improvement of productivity.