While the internet is rife with fraudulent “run your car on water" scams that dream about increasing your gas mileage by burning some hydrogen you may happen to create with $49 in hardware store materials, the REAL hydrogen car has arrived in California.
The Honda FCX Clarity uses an advanced fuel cell that generates electricity through a reaction between hydrogen and oxygen, and emits only water as exhaust. The car is about the size of a 2007 Accord, can reach 100 miles per hour and has a range of about 270 miles. The Clarity weighs in at 3,600 pounds and can go 74 miles on a gallon of hydrogen (which is pressurized to 5,000 psi) says Honda. This is a true zero-emissions vehicle, which doesn't need batteries, just a fill-up at your corner hydrogen station once a week or so.
So far, only a few dozen cars will be imported to the Los Angeles area in California this year, due to the scarcity of hydrogen refueling stations (California has stations in Torrance, Irvine and Santa Monica). Honda says it will have 200 units in the US within three years.
The costs? The FCX Clarity is available by lease only, at $600 per month, and only celebrities will be among the first customers for the car, which will be formally released in July. No word from Honda on how much the FCX is worth but an earlier version was reported to be valued at $1 million. What about fuel cost? Hydrogen is measured by weight (kilograms) and gasoline is measured by gallons, so a conventional fuel cost comparison between the FCX and a gas-powered car is not entirely relevant. But, at a cost of $5 per kg, you could fill the tank for about $20 today.
Another interesting fact: the FCX generates 100 kilowatts of electrical energy - enough to power about 20 homes. Wow!
Although real hydrogen cars such as the FCX Clarity are exceedingly expensive and will be few and far between for the foreseeable future, the hydrogen car is now a reality. And, like anything else that's high-tech and in high demand today, the hydrogen car may well follow the rapid development curve of the electronics industry of recent. Which will be a fantastic thing.
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