Honda Leases First Fuel Cell Car
The FCX is Honda's fuel cell prototype car. We have already written about it when it was test-driven by a New York Times journalist. The big news for Honda is that it has now started leasing a few of the cars to private citizens in the USA (I think they were already leasing some in Japan). The firsts to take the plunge are Jon and Sandy Spallino of Redondo Beach, California. These people already own a Honda Civic that runs on compressed natural gas, so they are already used to dealing with fewer refueling points; they will use the FCX in everyday normal use, including commuting to work to Orange County, trips to school for their children, shopping and household errands. Their lease is $500/month.Honda is currently the only carmaker to certify its fuel cell vehicle for regular daily use.
The Spallino family, living in the Los Angeles area, will be among the first individuals to begin utilizing the first of California's Hydrogen Highway refueling stations, a statewide infrastructure build out underway to offer hydrogen refueling station access to private individuals. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger announced the state's commitment to a Hydrogen Highway in April of this year, creating a public and private partnership to build California's Hydrogen Highway by 2010.
"We applaud the Governor and his administration for their environmental vision and their commitment to keeping California on the cutting edge of new technology development," said Mendel. "Without this initiative, we could not be taking the steps we are today."
We still think that battery powered cars (like the Volvo 3CC) and plug-in hybrids that run on batteries most of the time make more sense, especially since we have the technology to make them right now, but this is still good news. It is not one technology alone that will save the day, and having more experience and knowledge about hydrogen and fuel cells can only be beneficial.