It Sure Seems Like Honda Has Reason To Gripe About Hyundai's Claim
Last month, Hyundai said that the initial deliveries of the Tucson Fuel Cell vehicles in California meant that, "For the first time, retail consumers can now put a mass-produced, federally-certified hydrogen fuel cell vehicle in their driveways." But try telling that to Jon Spallino.
But uses 'plain old spring water' in hydrogen fuel cell ad
Remember when Hollywood stars Diane Kruger (Inglourious Basterds) and Joshua Jackson (Fringe) took a Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-Cell into Death Valley and "survived" by drinking water from the car's tailpipe? Honda has taken that idea into movie theaters in Australia. The idea, but not fuel cell water itself.
Read his lips: more hydrogen stations, please. That's the crux of the commentary from a Southern California gentleman who's been tooling around in a Honda FCX Clarity hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicle since 2005.
Honda plans to show how its super-small electric vehicle prototype fits into the bigger picture. The Japanese automaker is collaborating with electronics giant Toshiba and home-builder Sekisui House in their Smart Mobility City joint exhibit at the 43rd Tokyo Motor Show starting later this month. Themed "Being Smarter! Being Freer!", the companies will show off their truly utopian vision of neighborhoods with a "stable supply of renewable energy through the utilization of batteries and managemen
Honda has joined up with industry colleagues and become a member of the H2USA partnership dedicated to the development and commercialization of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. The US Department of Energy program was started up last month and includes Toyota, Mercedes, Hyundai, Nissan and other manufacturers, government agencies and suppliers.
Taking a detailed look at the Honda lineup in the US, it isn't hard to see the strength of some models and the weaknesses of others. A recent report on Autoline Daily points out that its five core models – the Accord, Civic, CR-V, Odyssey and Pilot – make up a full 93 percent of Honda's sales in the US. Through April, Honda has sold 419,798 vehicles, and 389,474 of them were from these core models; not to mention the fact that the Accord was the top-selling car in the US last month.
The Obama administration has reportedly shifted gears on hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. Government funding for H2 vehicles was cut in 2009, but the US Department of Energy will soon be launching a project called H2USA in support of hydrogen-powered cars, Automotive News reports.
Now that car buyers are starting to accept hybrids and EVs, there's more willingness to consider other green car technologies, including diesel, CNG and hydrogen. But the road to wider acceptance – and affordability – is being slowed by a lack of infrastructure and overlapping state and federal regulations that are sometime are at odds with one another.
Honda CEO Takanobu Ito recently gave a speech outlining where the company will be headed over the next five years, with hybrid electric vehicles playing a major role. It is a massive company, and his keynote presentation forecasted where Honda's motorcycle, power products, and automotive businesses are heading. When it comes to passenger cars, the news is where the powertrains are going.
Global automakers are taking a European road trip together to promote hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. On September 13, seven different fuel cell cars from Mercedes-Benz, Honda, Hyundai, and Toyota started a one-month tour with stopovers planned for nine European cities as a way to introduce more people to the technology.
Most carmakers like to think that their portfolio of vehicles can meet the needs of most any consumer. But in the case of the electric car, there aren't many choices. Some manufactures have decided to sell range-extended EVs, some started with a white sheet of paper and built an EV from scratch. And then there are those carmakers who chose to repurpose an existing vehicle design for an electric. The Honda Fit EV falls in the latter category.
UK drivers wishing to skip battery electric vehicles while maintaining "zero-emissions" motoring now have a new alternative since Honda has opened the UK's first public-access hydrogen refueling station. Ironically, no automakers offer a fuel cell vehicle in the UK, not even Honda.
Honda is looking to test out its fuel cell FCX Clarity by putting casual users in its passenger seats with an experiment at Tokyo's Narita International Airport. According to the automaker, an undisclosed amount of FCX Clarity sedans are now in motion at and around Narita Airport. The fuel cell vehicles will be used to chauffeur passengers from the airport to downtown Tokyo, a distance of around 45 miles.
IndyCar pace vehicles don't have to be gas-gulping, rubber-laying muscle cars. In fact, pace cars can be green machines. Take, for example, the hydrogen-fueled Honda FCX Clarity, which will assume pace car duties at the 2011 Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in late March.
As the White House Correspondents Association gathers in the nation's capitol this weekend to celebrate its coverage (such as it is) of the government, many of them will be shuttled around in gasoline free vehicles. Honda has stepped up to the plate with a fleet of vehicles that includes mostly the natural gas fueled Civic GX, but also a fuel cell powered FCX Clarity.