Monday, June 16, 2008

Honda hydrogen cars hit the road

The first time I read about the potential to build a hydrogen powered car, one that was to emit water vapour as its exhaust fume, I was ecstatic. Obviously, we were only a decade or so away from the flying Delorian, and you all know what that means... hoverboards!

Seriously though, it was a beautiful image, to have a car that runs normally and the only mark you leave on the environment is water. So Honda have now become the first car manufacturer to commercially produce of a hydrogen fuel cell powered car. I say produce commercially, there will only be about 200 cars and those are to be leased over the next three years, mainly in Japan and California. This is primarily because of the refueling problem, as refueling stations for hydrogen fuel cells are very few and far between. That, and the high cost of producing the batteries themselves.

On the other hand there is the concern of how the hydrogen itself is produced. Surely energy will be consumed in order to produce energy. So, even though I love the idea of a car exhaust dripping water, I still remain a bit skeptical about the whole thing. In fact after skimming over The Hype About Hydrogen I tend to agree that hybrid cars may be a more realistic alternative for now, especially with all the research being done in diesel hybrids and reducing weight by redesigning cars. Will the Hydrogen car actually help our environment?


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