Honda readies sleek hydrogen car for sale next year
The two FCXs Honda brought to Washington D.C. for journalists to drive represent the next-generation model. Honda says it will be producing and leasing these to consumers in some quantity next year.
Honda won't say, yet, how many it will build, but it's enough that this FCX will be manufactured on an assembly line, not one-by-one as the current model is.
Honda also isn't saying how much it will cost to lease one. The two current FCXs that are being leased to consumers cost $500 a month. Since each of those cars cost about $1 million to build, Honda's clearly not making money on that deal.
It cost less than that to build the two new FCXs that now exist and, presumably, will cost even less to make the mass-produced ones. Still, hydrogen fuel cell cars are far from cheap to make no matter how you do it.
Honda is leasing the cars rather than lending them to people free of charge - as GM will be doing with a fleet of 100 hydrogen fuel cell powered Chevrolet Equinoxes later this year - because Honda wants its users to have the same expectations any customer would have of their family car.
The cars will be leased only in areas that have some hydrogen filling stations. At-home hydrogen filling devices might also be made available, Honda said.
Honda begins production of hydrogen car
Mon Jun 16, 2008
Japanese manufacturer Honda has started the first commercial production of a hydrogen-powered car.
The medium-sized four seater is called the FCX Clarity and has a top speed of 160 kilometres per hour.
The car runs on an electric motor powered by hydrogen fuel cells and only emits water vapour.
Honda will start leasing some of the cars to people living in southern California by the end of August.