Stephen Rees's blog

Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

Honda rolls out Hydrogen Car

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Globe and Mail

Well you can find it there and many other places. It is actually an agency story from Tokyo.

New Honda Fuel Cell car

It is said to be the first production fuel cell car – but the volumes are going to be very low.

Honda expects to lease out a “few dozen” units this year and about 200 units within a year. In California, a three-year lease will run $600 (U.S.) a month, which includes maintenance and collision coverage.

Among the first customers are actress Jamie Lee Curtis and filmmaker husband Christopher Guest, actress Laura Harris, film producer Ron Yerxa, as well as businessmen Jon Spallino and Jim Salomon.

That’s payback for Arnie’s “hydrogen highway” but really delivers very little apart from column inches. And of course have a real Hollywood star name associated with the new car is good press too. But no-one is expected to go to a showroom and order one. In fact the chances of any ordinary Joe switching away from an SUV to one of these is slim to none.

As the piece points out, how you get the hydrogen determines whether this is a good policy move or not. And in terms of energy use and greenhouse gas emissions in California these may be worse than a hybrid. The lease rates are artificially low too. Honda is charging these to its R&D budget, not making money on them for a long time.

For most people now the big issue is gas prices – not air pollution or greenhouse gas emissions – but their response is actually doing more to reduce both both than any alternative fuel. They are taking transit.

Written by Stephen Rees

June 16, 2008 at 9:40 am

One Response

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  1. I believe these are primarily to meet California’s zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) law, which is primarily about reducing smog, not greenhouse gases.

    http://www.ucsusa.org/clean_vehicles/california_driving/ca-zero-emission-vehicle-program.html

    Sungsu

    June 16, 2008 at 10:20 am


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