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Honda Considering Private Lease of Fuel-Cell Vehicle in UK

Honda is considering expanding its public trials of fuel cell vehicles to include a private family in the UK. In June 2005, Honda Motor announced the lease of its FCX fuel cell car to the world’s first individual customers, a family in California. (Earlier post.)

Honda has yet to commit to the UK lease; the project may prove too costly. But if it goes ahead, Honda will likely provide the chosen household with its own refueling station, such as Honda’s own Home Energy Station III. (Earlier post.)

Generating hydrogen from natural gas supplied for residential use, the HES III system is equipped with fuel cells that generate and supply electricity to the home, and is configured to recover the heat produced during power generation for domestic water heating. In addition to reducing carbon dioxide emissions by some 40%, the HES III system is expected to lower the total running cost of household electricity, gas and vehicle fuel by 50%.

Honda will be showing both the HES III and the FCX Concept fuel-cell vehicle at the upcoming Geneva auto show.

The FCX Concept—which Honda has indicated will be the basis for a production car in the next three to four years—used Honda’s V flow fuel-cell stack, which can put out 100 kW of power. (Earlier post.)

The FCX Concept drive train features three motors: one 80 kW unit in the front; and a 25 kW motor in each rear wheel. A newly developed hydrogen absorption material in the tank doubles storage capacity to 5 kg, extending cruising range to 560 km (350 miles), thereby greatly enhancing practicality.

The FCX Concept would not be involved in the lease program; rather, the car involved would be the current-generation FCX.


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