Honda wants hydrogen support

* Government encouragement needed * Civic-sized fuel cell car in ten years * 2015 milestone for fuel cell cars...

Honda wants hydrogen support

Governments need to play a bigger role in the development of a hydrogen fuel infrastructure, according to Honda.

Sachito Fujimoto, project leader for Honda's hydrogen-powered fuel cell car, the FCX Clarity, told What Car?: 'There must be support from the Government to encourage the building of a hydrogen fuel infrastructure.'

However, as Fujimoto explained, Honda has not been actively lobbying the EU: 'It's difficult for Honda to push the EU, because we're not a European manufacturer, but Honda has signed a letter of understanding with other car makers to encourage the development of a hydrogen infrastructure.

'It's our job to produce the vehicles to prove the business model and to encourage energy suppliers to put the infrastructure in place.'

First fuel cell car in production
Honda's FCX Clarity is the world's first production fuel cell car. It's currently on sale in Japan and in California where it can be leased for $600 a month.

At present, there are around 20 hydrogen filling stations in California, with the state's lawmakers pushing for more to be built soon.

Fuel cell cars how they work
Hydrogen gas is stored at high pressure in a fuel tank in the boot of the FCX and fed to a fuel cell stack housed between the front seats. The hydrogen is mixed with oxygen, which creates a reaction that produces electricity to power the car's motor.

A battery provides additional power and is charged using energy recovered during braking. The only by-product of this process is water, making the FCX a true zero emissions vehicle.

Fujimoto believes that 2015 will be a milestone year for fuel cell cars with many manufacturers set to launch hydrogen powered vehicles. However, he thinks that British buyers will have to wait until around 2020 before they can buy a Civic-sized fuel cell car.