Feeds

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

SoCal beta-testers to lease FCX Clarity

High performance access to file storage

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. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Video games make you NASTY AND VIOLENT
Especially if you are bad at them and keep losing
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
Solar-powered aircraft unveiled for round-the-world flight
It's going to be a slow and sleepy flight for the pilots
Russian deputy PM: 'We are coming to the Moon FOREVER'
Plans to annex Earth's satellite with permanent base by 2030
LOHAN's Punch and Judy show relaunches Thursday
Weather looking good for second pop at test flights
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
India's GPS alternative launches second satellite
Closed satnav system due to have all seven birds aloft by 2016
Curiosity finds not-very-Australian-shaped rock on Mars
File under 'messianic pastries' and move on, people
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.