Feeds

Spinal Tap's Tufnel gets new Honda hydrogen car

Presumably it goes up to 11

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Japanese motor mammoth Honda has announced "production commencement" for its new hydrogen fuel-cell car, the FCX Clarity.

The second one off the line will go to noted film femme and children's authoress Jamie Lee Curtis - and her much more famous husband Christopher Guest.

“Our customers are true pioneers and leaders in the effort to bring fuel cell technology to the marketplace,” said John Mendel, US Honda exec.

The FCX being filled up with hydrogen

FCX - moving the emissions out of the picture.

The FCX Clarity turns its hydrogen fuel to electricity using an "entirely new" Honda proprietary fuel cell stack. The cells' power density is said to be up by 50 per cent on previous kit, but the stack is still - as in most fuel-cell vehicles - hybridised with a li-ion storage battery to cope with acceleration, hill climbing etc.

"Jamie Lee Curtis and her husband, filmmaker Christopher Guest, live with their family in Santa Monica," according to Honda.

"Curtis and Guest have owned other alternative fuel and hybrid vehicles, and they continue to seek out ways to live and advocate a greener lifestyle."

Until now, one of the couple's more prominent pieces of car-related lifestyle advocacy was Guest's reprisal of his Nigel Tufnel role from Spinal Tap in an advert for cars from a rival maker which can also function as guitar amplifiers. Presumably ones which go up to 11.

Regardless of the green credentials of Guest and Curtis, the greenness of the FCX is dependent on the methods used to make its hydrogen fuel. The car itself is zero-emission, but the production of hydrogen at the moment is usually so carbon-intensive as to give such vehicles greater carbon burdens than ordinary fossil-fuelled ones.

Even if the hydrogen isn't made by steam reforming of natural gas (the usual method), but rather electrolysed from water, the 'leccy needs to be low or zero carbon before the car offers any eco benefit. Honda has had an experimental solar-powered electrolysis station running in Los Angeles since 2001, but of late has seemed to shift tack - working mainly on home reformer units intended to run on domestic gas supplies.

For now, the FCX can't be bought. It is being leased to selected customers who live near dealerships set up to handle maintenance, in areas where there are hydrogen stations at which to fill up. In America, this means certain neighbourhoods in Southern California for the nonce. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
Asteroid's DINO KILLING SPREE just bad luck – boffins
Sauricide WASN'T inevitable, reckon scientists
Flamewars in SPAAACE: cooler fires hint at energy efficiency
Experiment aboard ISS shows we should all chill out for cleaner engines
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?
NASA Mars rover FINALLY equals 1973 Soviet benchmark
Yet to surpass ancient Greek one, however
Famous 'Dish' radio telescope to be emptied in budget crisis: CSIRO
Radio astronomy suffering to protect Square Kilometre Array
BEST BATTERY EVER: All lithium, all the time, plus a dash of carbon nano-stuff
We have found the Holy Grail (of batteries) - boffins
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.