Honda Betting that Hydrogen Will Power the Future

Honda is enhancing its role as the hydrogen leader. Earlier this yearHonda announced its intention to pursue solar hydrogen refuelingstation. It would seem Honda is betting on hydrogen as the fuel ofchoice for zero emission cars.

Many automakers have spentbillions of dollars in researching hydrogen-powered fuel cells. Theproduction of hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles, demonstrates Honda’scommitment to the hydrogen fuel cell. The company debuted a hydrogenrefueling breakthrough that it claims will eventually allow for thedevelopment of a home version.

With the exception of a handful in Southern California, there is very little hydrogen refueling infrastructure in the US. This is one of the big barriers to hydrogencar deployment, which is why Honda expects its vehicles to use acombination of public stations and a home option.

Honda’s home option will comprise a solar-powered hydrogen refueling stationusing solar panels. Although the home refueling solar array cuts costs,it takes Eight hours to have sufficient fuel an average commute (30miles or 50 km). At a "fast-fill" public station, five-minutes ofrefueling enables a vehicle to travel 240 miles.

A solar hydrogen refueling system could move beyond the research stage and into the market-ready phase as soon as 2015.

One of the things that makes hydrogen so desirable is its small size andlow weight. Honda’s current electricity generator known as a hydrogen"stack", is around the size of a briefcase.

Hybridsand battery powered fully electric vehicles appear to be dominating thegreener car marketplace, but as energy prices rise, hydrogen poweredvehicles will become increasingly attractive.

Once hydrogen vehicles approximate price parity, the value of a car that ispowered by sunlight and emits only water vapor will be irresistible.

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