Feeds

Honda offers FCX for '08, bitchslaps Google

Fukui on plug-in: 'Technically speaking it’s nonsense'

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Honda has confounded green-motoring analysts by announcing that it will offer a hydrogen-powered car for general sale in 2008, years earlier than expected.

The car in question - the third generation of Honda's FCX fuel-cell demonstrator platform - was always expected to debut next year, but until now the plan had been to lease it to users in a motoring beta test. Now Honda has amazed the motoring world by saying that the car will go on sale in the US and Japan for just £50,000 - despite the scarcity of hydrogen filling stations.

"When the car was invented, countries weren't full of petrol stations," Honda chief exec Takeo Fukui said. "When the demand is there [the hydrogen economy] will happen.”

Honda is trying to get more hydrogen pumps deployed, but also has another trick up its sleeve: the planned Home Energy Station. This might be bought by FCX owners in future, and hooked up to their domestic gas supply to produce hot water and electricity for the house as well as hydrogen for the car. The Energy Station isn't ready yet, however.

Honda's great rival Toyota sees the future of motoring completely differently. Its Prius hybrid has now been eclipsed in the fuel-economy stakes by lightweight conventional cars, but it plans to regain the initiative by the use of so-called "plug-in hybrid" cars, which run mainly on battery power drawn from the grid but carry a petrol engine for long journeys.

A lot of people like the plug-in hybrid idea, including the eggheads at Google. But Fukui was scathing, suggesting that the engineering of such cars was foolish, and that only the powerful American coal lobby would benefit from their widespread use.

"Carrying a [mains rechargeable] battery [as well as an engine] is dead weight," he told the Times.

"It is highly political," said Fukui, "but, technically speaking it's nonsense." ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers
Windmills, solar, tidal - all a 'false hope', say Stanford PhDs
Bond villains lament as Wicked Lasers withdraw death ray
Want to arm that shark? Better get in there quick
The next big thing in medical science: POO TRANSPLANTS
Your brother's gonna die, kid, unless we can give him your, well ...
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
Simon's says quantum computing will work
Boffins blast algorithm with half a dozen qubits
LIFE, JIM? Comet probot lander found 'ORGANICS' on far-off iceball
That's it for God, then – if Comet 67P has got complex molecules
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
How to simplify SSL certificate management
Simple steps to take control of SSL certificates across the enterprise, and recommendations centralizing certificate management throughout their lifecycle.