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Honda introduces hydrogen fuel cell car

Honda’s advanced hydrogen fuel cell car came off the line at its plant in the town of Takanezawa, Tochigi Prefecture in Japan in mid-June. The FCX Clarity a sleek 4-seater sedan, can run 620 kilometers on a single charge of hydrogen, about 30% longer than its predecessor model and emits only water from its exhaust pipe. ”Fuel cell vehicles are an indispensable technology for the earth’s environment that is threatened by global warming and depletion of natural resources, Honda President Takeo Fukui said. At the heart of the FCX Clarity is a fuel cell stack — a device that uses an electrochemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen to convert chemical energy into electrical energy to power a motor that drives the car’s wheels. Honda’s FC stack simultaneously generates electricity and water, emitting no CO2 or other harmful emissions. The combined sales plan for Japan and the U.S. will be about 70 cars per year, with a total of 200 units over three years. Customers will follow a three-year lease term, at a price of US$600 per month, including maintenance and collision insurance. Fukui said Honda hopes to start mass-producing the vehicles within 10 years after bringing down the production costs to less than ¥10 million (US$95,595).  (June 16/26, 2008)