Monday, December 15, 2008

Has Honda cracked it?

Perusing my reading list of blogs as usual and came across this little gem from the UK's Top Gear TV programme.
The item was about the Honda FCX clarity, a Hydrogen fuel cell car currently only available in California for 2009 under certain conditions.
*Subject to limited availability, in designated, limited California market regions, to approved lessees by American Honda Finance Corp. Closed end lease for 2008 FCX Clarity, for qualified lessees meeting specific use and operation requirements. Not all applicants will qualify. No purchase option. Zero capitalized cost reduction. Taxes, license, title fees, liability insurance extra. Monthly payments of $600.00 for 36 months. Total monthly payments $21,600.00. No mileage limitation or excess mileage cost.
As it says on Honda's own dedicated web site.

The video tells part of the story, but on the face of it this particular car may have part of the answer to the transport / emissions conundrum. The production of sufficient Hydrogen and development of a refuelling infrastructure may follow if the trial programme is practicable. The price of Hydrogen is the other matter. Can it be economically produced in sufficient quantity to supply demand? I hope so.

Another more cynical, thought emerges; will this category of technology shut the Eco freaks up? Personally, I think not. Certain of these guys want the whole concept of the car and the liberty it gives to the rest of us to die and be buried deep. They hate anything above the level of the horse and cart and subsistence agriculture. They hate liberating technologies because they do not understand why people need it, and what they cannot understand they fear. Simply cruise the Internet for any tin foil hattery about a specific technology. The lies are out there, and I regret to say they've got the facts outnumbered.

My predictions if this fuel cell technology takes off? There may be spurious stories about Hydrogen causing Cancer / Lung Disease etc bandied around by the media, perhaps even direct action against Hydrogen production facilities. Next thing you know, the water vapour from the exhaust of a fuel cell powered vehicle will end up in the same category as CO2, classed as a cause of 'Global Warming' (Some of which would come in handy around about now, it's minus six celsius outside my house, and that's without wind chill). No dopubt some future politician will build a whole 'Eco vote' campaign around it, similar to the one currently based around CO2 emissions. (Engage Sarcasm mode) We must 'save the planet'. Yeah, right (Sarcasm mode off).

I like the Honda concept, it has possibilities. Providing of course that the law of cock-up doesn't get in the way. However, Honda have a good track record of delivering technical solutions, so I will remain guardedly sanguine about the future. Even if it isn't going to become mainstream until 2018.

No comments: