Tuesday, November 27, 2007
a glimpse of the future
Have you seen those commercials for Honda's new fuel cell car? If you are like me, you stared at disbelief at the TV when the voice-over guy said it's only emmissions is water. Water?! How is that possible? So last night I did a little google search and checked out Honda's press releases. Earlier this month, Honda unveiled the FCX Clarity at the Los Angeles Auto Show. It will be for sale only in the LA area starting summer 2008. Of course, if things go well, it will be available more places.
So here's the deal: Instead of using gasoline, the car runs on converted hydrogen. "Hydrogen combines with atmospheric oxygen in the fuel cell stack, where chemical energy from the reaction is converted into electric power used to propel the vehicle. Additional energy captured through regenerative braking and deceleration is stored in the lithium ion battery pack, and used to supplement power from the fuel cell, when needed. The vehicle's only emission is water." How freaking, amazing cool is that?
The next obvious question is where does one get the hydrogen? Well they of course have an answer to that too. Honda has come up with the Home Energy Station which uses a home's existing natural gas supply for production of hydrogen, while also providing heat and electricity to an average-size home! "Compared to the average U.S. consumer's home with grid-supplied electricity and a gasoline-powered car, a home using Home Energy Station IV to help produce heat and electricity and also to refuel an FCX Clarity can reduce CO2 emissions by an estimated 30 percent and energy costs by an estimated 50 percent."
I think that is pretty darn fantastic, don't you? Wouldn't it be so nice never to go to a gas station again? And the efficiency is astounding. It can heat your house! I'm not a car geek at all, but this got me really excited for the future. I think this is a fabulous step in the right direction.