Honda FCX Fuel Cell Car
We've written a lot about the Honda FCX hydrogen-powered car (see links at the end of this post). So far we only could show you computer renderings of the car, but now Honda has shown a working version of the next-generation FCX (to see the 2005 version, see this) doing about 100 mph (160 kph) on a test track. "The company says it plans limited marketing in Japan and the US for the vehicle starting in 2008." That's faster than the "3-4 years" announced in early 2006, so presumably things are going better than planned on the technical side of things.
According to Reuters:
Honda also showed off a prototype of its next-generation fuel cell vehicle which runs on a newly developed compact and more powerful fuel cell stack.
The new stack is designed to allow the hydrogen and water formed during electricity generation to flow vertically instead of horizontally, making the component 20 percent smaller and 30 percent lighter than the previous version.
Honda's new FCX fuel-cell car now has a driving range of 570 km (354 miles) -- a 30 percent improvement from the 2005 model -- a maximum speed of 160 km (100 miles) per hour and can be driven in temperatures as low as minus 30 degrees Celsius (86 F).
Honda plans to begin marketing the car in limited numbers in 2008 in Japan and the United States.
Honda said it also developed a flexible fuel vehicle (FFV) system that can operate on any ethanol-to-gasoline ratio between 20 percent and 100 percent. That car will be sold in Brazil, the biggest market for ethanol-based vehicles, later this year.
"Way out in the future, the ultimate green car will be fuel cell vehicles," Fukui said. "But in the meantime, you need a wide range of green technology to meet varying local needs and fuel supply."
For more technical specifications, see this.
We wish that Honda was spending more energy on electric cars and plug-in hybrids (if they are, they're keeping quiet about it), but since there probably won't be a single silver bullet technology to solve our transportation problems and it's impossible to predict what kind of breakthroughs will happen in the next 5-10 years, it's still good to see companies making steady progress with fuel cell hydrogen cars. A lot of that expertise can be used in electric cars anyway.
See also: ::Honda FCX Fuel Cell Vehicle: Production in 3-4 Years, ::More Details on Honda's 2006 FCX Fuel Cell Car, ::New FCX Fuel Cell Concept by Honda, ::Honda's Improved Fuel Cell Concept Car Unveiled