Feeds

Honda offers FCX for '08, bitchslaps Google

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

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

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." ®

The Power of One Infographic

More from The Register

next story
World Solar Challenge contender claims new speed record
One charge sees Sunswift travel 500kms at over 100 km/h
SMELL YOU LATER, LOSERS – Dumbo tells rats, dogs... humans
Junk in the trunk? That's what people have
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
Bad back? Show some spine and stop popping paracetamol
Study finds common pain-killer doesn't reduce pain or shorten recovery
Forty-five years ago: FOOTPRINTS FOUND ON MOON
NASA won't be back any time soon, sadly
Jurassic squawk: Dinos were Earth's early FEATHERED friends
Boffins research: Ancient dinos may all have had 'potential' fluff
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.