Honda FCX Clarity - Click above for high-res image gallery
Honda is not yet ready to concede victory in the eco-friendly automobile wars to the battery electric car. Instead, Honda will continue developing its hydrogen fuel cell technology. Says Takashi Moriya, head of Honda's fuel cell operations, "Fuel-cell cars will become necessary. We're positioning it as the ultimate zero-emission car."
While Honda is the only automaker in the States that's actually put hydrogen-powered vehicles in the hands of paying consumers (GM's Project Driveway loaned citizens a fuel cell vehicle for free for a short while), it's clear that the Japanese automaker isn't making any money on the FCX Clarity now and likely won't any time soon. Fuel cells are expensive pieces of technology, partly due to their high concentration of precious metals like platinum.
Despite the shortcomings of current hydrogen technology – which, in addition to the aforementioned high price of the vehicle itself, include difficulties in capturing the gas in an environmentally-friendly manner, storing and transporting the gas and an inadequate infrastructure – Honda believes its investment will one day pay off. In fact, Honda says it plans to have hydrogen-powered cars on the market by 2020 at costs comparable to cars running on gasoline. Toyota has said it's hydrogen car, due in 2015, will be priced "shockingly low."