Feeds

Honda hits reverse on £50k fuel cell cars for '08

SoCal beta-testers to lease FCX Clarity

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Japanese motor colossus Honda has walked back somewhat on its recent announcement that it would sell hydrogen fuel cell cars in America and Japan for just £50,000.

The new FCX Clarity

Hydrogen cars for all - in parts of California

The revelations last month caused a stir in the global motor industry, which had not been expecting Honda's FCX cars to go on ordinary sale for years. Thus far the maker, mirroring normal industry strategy, had preferred to lease small numbers of vehicles to selected customers.

Now it transpires that in fact these combination beta-tests and market-seeding loss leaders are to continue. Rather than selling the latest FCX Clarity for £50k, Honda will lease it from summer '08 for $600/month including collision insurance and maintenance.

Only people living in the Torrance, Santa Monica, and Irvine areas of southern California will be eligible initially, as these are the only places that the Clarity can be easily refuelled and serviced.

Honda reckons its new baby will do 270 miles on a fill of hydrogen. The gas is used to generate electricity in a fuel cell stack, and the juice then passes into an ordinary lithium-ion battery pack and electric transmission.

Honda's proprietary Ultracapacitor technology - though it has been included in previous FCX models - isn't getting an outing this time, because it took up too much space, apparently. (Whoops.)

Honda has made an effort to ensure the Clarity looks different to other cars, too. The company believes that its previous hybrids - outwardly no different from conventional cars - got whupped by Toyota's Prius due to that latter's distinctive styling.

So how many more years until hydrogen cars move beyond beta test in California?

Honda is hoping not too many. The company is working hard on its Home Energy Station tech. The idea here is that FCX owners of the future would have an energy station at home hooked up to their domestic natural-gas and water supplies. This machine would produce hydrogen for the car, and also useful amounts of electricity and heat for the home (it would give off a fair bit of CO2, but then so does an ordinary gas boiler).

"If you live outside the [FCX lease] area, don't worry," says Honda, chirpily.

"We plan to roll out more of these amazing vehicles as more hydrogen refueling options become available. A key component of this effort is the development of Honda's Home Energy Stations..."

The home hydrogen kit is now on its fouth generation, apparently. But there's no word on just when all this will be ready to go for real. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
GRAV WAVE DRAMA: 'Big Bang echo' may have been grit on the scanner – boffins
Exit Planet Dust on faster-than-light expansion of universe
SpaceX Dragon cargo truck flies 3D printer to ISS: Clawdown in 3, 2...
Craft berths at space station with supplies, experiments, toys
That glass of water you just drank? It was OLDER than the SUN
One MEELLION years older. Some of it anyway
Big dinosaur wowed females with its ENORMOUS HOOTER
That's right, Doris, I've got biggest snout in the prehistoric world
Japanese volcano eruption reportedly leaves 31 people presumed dead
Hopes fade of finding survivors on Mount Ontake
Relive the death of Earth over and over again in Extinction Game
Apocalypse now, and tomorrow, and the next day, and the day after that ...
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.