Honda unveils new fuel-cell car

Associated Press

HAGA-MACHI, Japan – Honda Motor Co.’s new experimental car doesn’t have the roar of a gasoline engine, or the polluting exhaust. It purrs with the soft whir of a fan, and the only thing coming out the tailpipe is water vapor.

The Japanese automaker showed its FCX-V3 to reporters Friday as part of a project with Ford Motor Co., DaimlerChrysler and other automakers to test a technology of the future: the fuel cell.

Though the automakers won’t be sharing fuel cell technology, they’ll be helping each other cross other hurdles, such as developing fueling systems, winning public acceptance and studying possibilities for commercial production.

Fuel cells produce energy from a reaction between hydrogen and oxygen, a clean technology that is expected someday to replace the gasoline engine.

But the technology is not likely to take off for at least another decade, in part because it needs a whole new system of fueling. Gas stations would have to make way for fueling stations for hydrogen.

But all the world’s major automakers are rushing to work on fuel cell technology.

Honda showed the FCX-V3 Friday at a research center north of Tokyo.

The model will be among the more than 50 fuel cell vehicles tested in the next three years under the California Fuel Cell Partnership, a Sacramento-based project among the state of California, automakers, fuel cell makers and oil companies. A road test there is scheduled to start in November.

Honda said its new fuel cell car is quieter, nimbler and lighter than its previous models. It stores the hydrogen in a high-pressure tank in the back of the car, where the trunk usually is.

But having the tank in the trunk could be dangerous in an accident, because hydrogen is volatile. So Honda is working on a better, safer way to store hydrogen so the tank can be placed lower in the car, where a gas tank usually is, said executive chief engineer Yozo Kami.

Honda acknowledged the fuel cell car needs more work: it doesn’t perform well in cold weather and travels just 110 miles before needing to refuel. Another issue is cost: Honda declined to say how much the fuel cell or vehicle cost, except to say that they were still extremely expensive.

Honda has set 2003 for commercial production of fuel cell vehicles.

Copyright ©2000 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Talk to us

More in Local News

FILE - A sign hangs at a Taco Bell on May 23, 2014, in Mount Lebanon, Pa. Declaring a mission to liberate "Taco Tuesday" for all, Taco Bell asked U.S. regulators Tuesday, May 16, 2023, to force Wyoming-based Taco John's to abandon its longstanding claim to the trademark. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)
Hepatitis A confirmed in Taco Bell worker in Everett, Lake Stevens

The health department sent out a public alert for diners at two Taco Bells on May 22 or 23.

VOLLI’s Director of Food & Beverage Kevin Aiello outside of the business on Friday, May 19, 2023 in Marysville, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Coming soon to Marysville: indoor pickleball, games, drinks

“We’re very confident this will be not just a hit, but a smash hit,” says co-owner Allan Jones, who is in the fun industry.

Detectives: Unresponsive baby was exposed to fentanyl at Everett hotel

An 11-month-old boy lost consciousness Tuesday afternoon. Later, the infant and a twin sibling both tested positive for fentanyl.

Cassie Franklin (left) and Nick Harper (right)
Report: No wrongdoing in Everett mayor’s romance with deputy mayor

An attorney hired by the city found no misuse of public funds. Texts between the two last year, however, were not saved on their personal phones.

Firearm discovered by TSA officers at Paine Field Thursday morning, May 11, 2023, during routine X-ray screening at the security checkpoint. (Transportation Security Administration)
3 guns caught by TSA at Paine Field this month — all loaded

Simple travel advice: Unpack before you pack to make sure there’s not a gun in your carry-on.

Heavy traffic northbound on 1-5 in Everett, Washington on August 31, 2022.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
To beat the rush this Memorial Day weekend, go early or late

AAA projects busy airports, ferries and roads over the holiday weekend this year, though still below pre-pandemic counts.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Snohomish in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Troopers: DUI crash leaves 1 in critical condition in Maltby

A drunken driver, 34, was arrested after her pickup rear-ended another truck late Tuesday, injuring a Snohomish man, 28.

Housing Hope CEO Donna Moulton raises her hand in celebration of the groundbreaking of the Housing Hope Madrona Highlands on Tuesday, May 23, 2023 in Edmonds, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
$30M affordable housing project to start construction soon in Edmonds

Once built, dozens of families who are either homeless or in poverty will move in and receive social and work services.

A south-facing view of the proposed site for a new mental health facility on Thursday, Oct. 13, 2022, near 300th Street NW and 80th Avenue NW north of Stanwood, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
County Council OK’s Stanwood behavioral health center

After an unsuccessful appeal to block it, the Tulalip Tribes are now on the cusp of building the 32-bed center in farmland.

Most Read