Honda FCX Fuel Cell Car

 
 

 

Pictured above: the Honda FCX fuel cell car

 
 
 
 

The hydrogen-powered Honda FCX is the first fuel cell vehicle certified by the U.S. EPA for every day commercial use. It is one of many alternative fuel vehicles manufactures around the world are developing.

Honda plans to lease approximately 30 fuel-cell cars in California and Japan during the next several years. So there will be even more instances where this groundbreaking technology will see everyday use.

In principle, a fuel cell operates like a battery. Unlike a battery, a fuel cell does not run down or require recharging. It will produce energy in the form of electricity and heat as long as fuel is supplied. The type of fuel cell used in the Honda FCX is called a Polymer electrolyte fuel cell. Powered by Hydrogen gas the fuel cell provides power to the FCX's AC synchronous electric motor to give the FCX a top speed of around 93 mph. with engine output at around 60kW Honda claim the clean FCX has similar performance to the its petrol drinking brother the Honda Civic. 

The first practical use of a Fuel Cell was in the 1960s with the Apollo Space Program, for years fuel cell technology has been seen as too hard and too costly, but now as development continues we may see more cars like the FCX but the question often remains were does one fill up with fuel.

All the Honda FCX's made for the US have been sold to Californian government, the cost of the cars are too expensive for the average buyer and California is using them not only as city runabouts but as a publicity stunt to promote green cars.

If cars like the FCX ever become popular then petrol stations will have to start supplying hydrogen as well as regular petroleum products but currently there are only a handful of Honda FCXs around.

Honda has been working on ways to refill the FCX and has established an experimental Home Energy Station (HES) that generates hydrogen from natural gas for use in fuel cell vehicles while supplying electricity and hot water to the home.

The new HES system that has been jointly developed with strategic fuel cell partner Plug Power Inc. is located on the grounds of Honda R&D Americas in Torrance, California, and will undergo experiments in hydrogen production, storage and fueling, as part of ongoing research into hydrogen energy sources.

The new HES system, which can currently produce enough hydrogen to refill the tank of a Honda FCX hydrogen fuel cell vehicle taking just a few minutes once a day.
 

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Did You Know?

The first successful hybrid car was designed by Ferdinand Porsche in 1928. While many hobbyists have made their own hybrids, no manufactures released a hybrid until the 90's  when the Honda Insight and Toyota Prius hit the market.

 

 

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