AFVI 2008: A cringing lunch, courtesy of Honda

I've done you a favor. As part of the American Honda Lunch program yesterday at the AFVI Expo, comedian Matt Hovde was part of the entertainment. Before he took to the stage, I was kind of excited. I mean, he's part of Second City, and they're legends in the comedy business. So, what's my favor to you? I've split the audio from Hovde's routine from the clip of the other speaker during lunch: American Honda's vice president of corporate planning and logistics Dan Bonawitz. You can still listen to Hovde if you really want to, but don't complain to me if you find yourself groaning more than laughing

So, what did Bonawitz have to say? Like Larry Burn's presentation during the morning session, Bonawitz ran through some of his company's efforts to bring cleaner transportation to customers. The main focus Bonawitz talked about was hydrogen. Bonawitz said that American Honda sees natural gas-powered cars as a bridge to hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. Honda, like GM, is calling for more government help in establishing refueling infrastructure, but the lack of the infrastructure today isn't stopping the company from moving forward with deploying vehicles. The world's first fuel cell vehicle dealer network will kick into gear in a few months when the Honda FCX Clarity becomes available in parts of California. Honda has one of these production models on display here at the Expo, and you can check out some pictures of the car in the gallery below. The lighting in the Expo hall is terrible for photographs, but I hope some of the gorgeous burgundy color of the FCX Clarity is reproduced well on your monitor.

Aside from fuel cells, Bonawitz talked about other Honda clean tech like the new diesel Acura, new I-TEC engines and the Honda / RITE cellulosic ethanol partnership. Of course, we're certainly anxious to see Honda's new purpose-built hybrid car that will be unveiled next year and will carry a price tag below the current Civic hybrid. Bonawitz said that vehicle is still on the way, but didn't provide any more information. All I can say is I'm happy he didn't try to make a joke out of it.

Hovde (8 min):

The video meant to be presented here is no longer available. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Bonawitz (12 min):

The video meant to be presented here is no longer available. Sorry for the inconvenience.

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