Honda Introduces Zero-Emission, Hydrogen-Powered Car

Honda FCX Clarity

Honda released its new zero-emission, hydrogen fuel cell car in Japan today, where it rolled off the production line on its way to California, reports

Here’s the bad news. If you don’t live in southern California, you won’t even be considered for the car, named the FCX Clarity. Also, if you aren’t a celebrity or financially well-off, you won’t have much luck getting your hands on one either. Why?

For the Clarity’s release in California, Honda said it received 50,000 applications through its Web site but considered only buyers living near hydrogen fuel stations in Torrance, Santa Monica and Irvine. Secondly, you’ve got to be able to afford to put hydrogen in the car, which is not cheap.

The FCX Clarity, which runs on hydrogen and electricity, emits only water vapor. The benefits of the car are that it is two times more energy efficient than a gas-electric hybrid and three times more efficient than a standard gas-powered car, the company says.

Honda FCX Clarity

Only a few dozen cars will be leased this year and about 200 more over the next three years. Lucky drivers will sign into a three-year lease, costing $600 a month, including maintenance and collision coverage.

Until more hydrogen fuel stations are available, this car and future competitors won’t be available to the masses quite yet. The FCX Clarity will go only to a chosen few starting in July and then launch in Japan this fall.

Who will you see driving around in one in California? Some of the first customers include actress Jamie Lee Curtis and filmmaker husband Christopher Guest, actress Laura Harris, film producer Ron Yerxa and businessmen Jon Spallino and Jim Salomon.

Honda FCX Clarity interior

Photos courtesy of Honda.