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Honda to produce fuel cell car in three to four

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Honda to produce fuel cell car in three to four years

By DPA

Feb 22, 2006, 19:00 GMT

Tokyo - The Japanese manufacturer Honda is close to winning the race in becoming the first mass car producer to offer a hydrogen- powered fuel cell car.

The company recently announced at the Detroit Motor Show that the Honda FCX Concept vehicle resembled the car it would produce in three to four years time.

Other major car makers have said that it will take between 10 and 15 years to mass produce the first fuel cell vehicle running on hydrogen.

But the FCX Concept, first unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show and also presented in Detroit this month, indicates that Honda has taken a big step forward in the evolution of the technology.

The FCX boasts a design with a low centre of gravity with a roomy interior and a unique low-floor fuel cell platform

A major barrier to mass production of fuel cell vehicles has been the lightweight storage of compact hydrogren. Honda has however expanded the storage capacity with a newly developed hydrogen absorption material in the tank doubling capacity to five kilogrammes of hydrogen at 5000 PSI, extending the range to about 560 kilometres.

Another problem confronting fuel cell cars has apparently been solved by the Honda engineers regarding the cold-weather starts. A V- Flow fuel cell stack takes advantage of gravity discharging water formed during electricity generation, achieving low-temperature starts comparable to petrol engines.

The FCX Concept features three electric motors one 80 kW engine in the front and a 25 kW motor in each of the rear wheels, leaving plenty of space for a spacious cabin.

Honda is however also working on infrastructure for the hydrogen society with its Home Energy Station (HES), a system designed to supply energy needs for the home and car. The system is equipped with fuel cells that produce electricity for the home and recovering heat produced during power generation for water heating.

Link: http://science.monstersandcritics.com/news...e_to_four_years

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Approaching the vehicle, the driver is recognized by vehicle sensors and intelligent cameras unlocking the doors. The driving unit also automatically sets the steering wheel, accelerator pedal, and instrument panel to the optimal position for the driver. The instrument panel tilts up and down 45 degrees in response to vehicle speed to give either a sense of security or a relaxed feel. A system installed in the instrument panel senses the driver's line of sight shifting toward menu icons, and operates switches accordingly, allowing the driver hands-free operation of audio, AC and other systems.

:blink: Does it scratch your butt too when it itches? heehee. This thing sounds pretty good when combined with the HES, and to think we might have it in 4-5 years (well not us, since we always get things a year or two after they debut in Japan). Hopefully it will go over better than GM's electric cars did. It sounds like they have the range up to a normal gasoline car, and by the time it's released, probably a lot more.

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