Sunday, January 21, 2018

Honda to Roll Out Hydrogen Hybrid in 2008

March 30, 2011 by  
Filed under Taylor Made Hybrids

The Honda Motor Co. Ltd. continues to develop fuel efficient product lines to bolster its lead as the ‘greenest’ automaker. Earlier, the Japanese automaker announced its plan to roll out a new hydrogen hybrid that will be released next year.

The upcoming fuel cell vehicle gets an equivalent of nearly 70 mpg. Japan’s second largest automaker has been developing the FCX for nearly two decades and finally believes the car is ready for the tough streets and demands of the real world. Honda expects the 2008 FCX will get a fuel mileage of about 68 mpg in combined highway and city driving, with a range of 270 miles. The only emission that the FCX’s electric engine produces is water vapor that is created when hydrogen and oxygen combine to produce electricity.

Contrary to the Honda Civic Nitrous Systems, the FCX “is not just some far out, pie-in-the-sky exercise in what may or may not come to fruition some day in the distant future,” said Steve Ellis, the manager of fuel cell vehicle marketing for American Honda Motor Co. Inc. “We feel fuel cell electric vehicles are the best and ultimate solution to the twin environmental and societal challenges of global climate change and energy sustainability.”

The car is the first hydrogen fuel cell car that has been certified for daily use by both the Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board. “Along with that, we’ve already done our own internal crash testing to ensure that it meets federal crash standards as well. So we consider this to be a production car,” Honda spokesman Chris Naughton said.

Do not expect much change when the production model hits the road either, Naughton said. “We very much expect to carry over not only the sleek styling and very spacious interior, but also the performance characteristics. Any changes will mainly slight tweaks, like headlights, bumper height and a few other things to make it a true production car,” Naughton added.

“It’s important to get fuel cells on the road,” said Paul Taylor, the chief economist of the Washington, D.C.-based National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA). “We’ve had fuel-cell buses running in Chicago for a while, but I don’t know whether they can get through to Denver or not.”

Local dealer Mile High Honda does not have any official confirmation from the Japanese automaker about the delivery of fuel-cell cars, said Tom Easaw, the dealership’s Internet sales manager. “Honda has been developing FCX,” Easaw said. “Filling up fuel-cell cars could be an issue unless you have hydrogen fueling stations. To my knowledge, there aren’t any hydrogen fueling stations in Denver.”

Approximately twelve states have hydrogen-fueling stations, and California accounts for most of them. Additionally, even at the higher mpg, getting hydrogen from fossil fuels is not worth the cost of the vehicles and energy loss of the conversion. This is why some critics are discouraging production of said vehicles at the present time.

Anthony Fontanelle is a 35-year-old automotive.buff who grew up in the Windy City. He does freelance work for an automotive magazine when he is not busy customizing cars in his shop.

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