Honda FCX Fuel Cell Car
The FCX, Honda's new fuel cell car, generated lots of enthusiasm and positive reactions each time we mentioned it (see links at the end of this post). With its elegant lines, low floor and cabin-forward design, it looks like that ever elusive "car of the future", and its drivetrain and home refuelling station are significant steps forward on the technological level (see technical details here). And now we learn that Honda has announced at the Detroit North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) that the FCX would begin production in Japan in three to four years. Jonathan Yarkony of the Canadian Auto Press has written an interesting piece on the Honda FCX. Most of it repeats what we've already said about the car here on Treehugger, but the description of his experience seeing the prototype at the NAIAS is interesting in an anecdotal sort of way.
Maybe it’s just how low and streamlined the shape of this car is, but it looks long, really long, until you get right next to it and realize it’s no longer than your average large sedan; but its profile makes it seem Lamborghini low - perhaps it is, I didn’t pull out my tape measure to tell you the truth. It’s shape is a definitive tear drop for the top profile, and is just about the most aerodynamic shape achievable for a car, with rear fender spoilers leading into a back deck that also looks like it might provide some extra downforce.
The interior is also spacious, and pretty spacey, too, like it might be an interior set left over from 2001: A Space Odyssey. Clean, wide-open surfaces in light colours picked out with organic shapes and optical illusion floor surfaces, with cradling chairs and integrated unseen technology. One feature that blew me away when I saw it in action at the Detroit show was the nav system, which renders in full 3D, tilting down to street-level perspective for upcoming turns, then floating up overhead for long straights. Apologies to Honda’s show stand people who had to wipe down all the fogged up windows as I had my face pressed to the glass to get a better look. Another feature that stood out from the press release are sensors that detect eye movement to specific menu icons, and then activate the switches accordingly, for truly hands-free and silent operation of onboard functions.
I also really like the ‘living’ room they have the FCX parked in front in one of the press photos, with one chair, a stand-up CD player and stand-up speaker with a shiny reflective floor, bare white walls [the future, where white is the new colour], and a super-panoramic seamless window, outside of which is parked the FCX, right by its home hydrogen-generation refueling station.
Via: ::Hydrogen-Powered Honda FCX to go Into Production, ::Honda to Put Hydrogen FCX Concept into Production in 3–4 Years
Update: Our friends at WorldChanging have a very good post about the Honda FCX and fuel cell vehicles in general.