Honda has announced that it will put its new fuel-cell vehicle into production next year. The automaker is also working on another hybrid vehicle that will be cheaper and smaller than the current Civic Hybrid.
Fuel-Cell vehicles are seen as a viable alternative to gasoline powered vehicles and are seen as a way to reduce our dependence on oil. These vehicles are electrically powered and the electricity is generated by a fuel-cell stack that is in the vehicle. The stack combines hydrogen and oxygen in a process that produces electricity and emits water. Hydrogen is mainly made from natural gas, that is abundant in North America (according to USA Today).
The 2008 Honda FCX Fuel-Cell vehicle is capable of achieving 68 mpg combined city and highway driving. Currently hydrogen with the same amount of energy as gasoline costs between $3-$6. Fuel-Cell vehicles are more efficient than gasoline vehicles so the cost per mile is a lot less. The FCX is capable of reaching speeds up to 100 miles per hour and in initial tests the vehicles easily reached 75 mph.
Honda hasn’t announced how many of the vehicles will be produced next year. Currently the Honda FCX has only been sold to two drivers who are leasing the fuel-cell vehicle for $500 a month.
GM has also announced plans to start selling 100 Fuel-Cell versions of the Chevrolet Equinox.
The main obstacle to the success of fuel-cell vehicles are that there are not a lot of fueling stations that currently sell Hydrogen. Most states only have a handful of stations. Hopefully the demand for these types of vehicles will change that.
New Honda Hybrid
In addition to the news about the new FCX, Honda has also announced plans to release a new hybrid model. The new hybrid will not look like any other Honda and will be smaller and cheaper than the current Civic Hybrid. The automaker feels that one of the main reasons that the Civic Hybrid does not sell as well as the Toyota Prius is because it has the same styling as the regular gasoline powered Civic. This new Hybrid is expected within 2 years as a 2009 model and will complement the Civic Hybrid.
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