Monday August 4, 2003
Honda Motor Co has become the first automaker to supply a fuel cell vehicle to a private corporation with the delivery of a Honda FCX to the Iwatani International Corporation in Tokyo. While six FCX vehicles have been supplied to the public sector - three to the Japanese government and three to the City of Los Angeles - since its initial release in December 2002, Honda sees this as an important step in the information gathering process being undertaken as the FCX moves towards mass production.
Fuel cells create electricity through an electrochemical process that combines hydrogen and oxygen, producing only water vapour emissions.
The FCX achieves a maximum output of 80 horsepower and 201 foot-pounds of torque - acceleration is similar to a Honda Civic and the electric motor is virtually silent.
The Honda developed high-efficiency, high-output ultra-capacitor energy storage system used in the FCX provides a range of up to 350 km.
This powertrain is designed to optimise the spacious interior with room for four adults in a compact body that maintains a high level of collision safety performance in all directions.
Last month's delivery to Iwatani International Corporation (Japan's top domestic hydrogen manufacturer) will be followed initially by a limited market release of approximately thirty vehicles over the first two to three years in Japan and California.
The Honda FCX is the first fuel cell vehicle to receive U.S. government certification for road use.
Infrastructure to support hydrogen-powered vehicles is also emerging in Iceland, where the world's first hydrogen fuel station opened earlier this year.