Hydrogen cars

BBC News: Driving the car of the future.

The Honda FCX isn’t much to look at, but it’s the closest thing to a genuine car of the future you can drive on public roads. Underneath the bonnet – and under the passenger seats as well – is a revolutionary fuel-cell engine that produces no pollution and, in effect, runs on nothing more than the enormous amounts of rain that fall on Yakushima. Which is why Honda has chosen to test it on this remote southern island – a Unesco World Heritage Site better known for its sheer mountains and ancient forests.

Fuel cells don’t run literally on water, but on hydrogen, which is forced through membranes inside the fuel-cell stack, producing an electric current that powers the car. You can make hydrogen from water, but that also requires electricity – and it so happens Yakushima has abundant quantities of that, too.

This is good news, a non-polluting fuel cell prototype. It’s too expensive for mass production right now, but that’s a problem that can be solved. I would buy this car in a heartbeat. You’d need some way to mass produce the hydrogen and distribute it, but the air companies (BOC, Air Products etc.) do that already.