The market for small, fuel-efficient cars is booming, and while some automakers are placing their bets on electric or diesel fuel, Honda [NYSE: HMC] has apparently followed BMW’s lead and decided to put a little faith in hydrogen fuel. The Japanese car maker announced today that it will begin producing limited quantities of its hydrogen fuel-cell sedan, the FCX Clarity, for availability in Japan and the US, with the first models arriving around the end of the decade.
Also like BMW, Honda is planning a lease-only rollout with an initial offering of about 200 vehicles, which will be available to select customers for $600 a month. “It’s an especially
significant day for American Honda as we plant firm footsteps toward the mainstreaming of fuel cell cars,” said John Mendel, senior vice president at Honda. Currently, California is the only state with any hydrogen refueling centers, and even that state has pitifully few. Perhaps with the advent of the Civic-like FCX Clarity, more fuel cell stations will pop up around the country, but with hydrogen fuel production still a pricey and energy-costly process, that’s a gamble.CD