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Ear to the Ground

Honda Rolls Out Hydro Car

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Posted on Jun 15, 2008
Honda
Flickr / BBQ Junkie

Here’s a little something to get that dad or grad you may have missed these last couple of weeks: Honda is rolling out the first commercially available hydrogen fuel-cell car. They get great mileage, emit only water vapor and run real smooth, provided they don’t Hindenburg. True to form, some Southern Californians are already on the waiting list.


BBC:

One of the biggest obstacles standing in the way of wider adoption of fuel cell vehicles is the lack of hydrogen fuelling stations.

The car will initially be available for lease starting July to a limited number of customers in southern California and then in Japan later this year.

Honda says it expects to lease a few dozen units in the U.S. and Japan within a year, and about 200 units within three years.

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By Car Registrations, June 9, 2011 at 8:29 pm Link to this comment

This is a great step forward for us. As much as we are aware of the pollution consequences from conventional gasoline powered cars, and our quests for finding an alternative fuel supply, growing food for fuel (e.g. corn for ethanol) equates to shooting ourselves in the foot. We can at least give Honda praise and support for initiating this constructive approach. One thing though: is smoking allowed in the car?

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By BMW Service Essex, April 29, 2011 at 2:24 am Link to this comment

Only 200 units within 3 years?  I guess the market is merely lukewarm for these eco-friendly cars.

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By archebald23, April 19, 2010 at 7:00 pm Link to this comment

another hybrid from honda, looking at honda’s ever popular hybrid car and honda parts, the honda civic, it will surely raise everyone’s especially the critics’ expectation on this one.

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By beeline, December 18, 2009 at 5:28 am Link to this comment

I thought I saw one of these at an Orlando car hire place. Don’t think it was one of the rental cars though.

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By Mbadger, June 24, 2009 at 2:56 am Link to this comment

Last time i went to the UK i got a great deal on car hire at heathrow airport they had a few of these hydro cars, unfortunately the agent informed us that there were hardly any hydro station so we managed to pick up a prius instead

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By ocjim, June 17, 2008 at 8:40 pm Link to this comment

Anytime I see hype for an energy solution, I grow very skeptical. I have read that it takes too much energy (and greenhouse gases) to produce that hydrogen fuel (apart from those fueling stations) unless we use wind power, solar power or geo-thermal. I don’t hear anyone talking about these sources of green energy. Aren’t hydro cars a partial solution. And what about the $1 billion plus subsidies that Congress gives to oil companies (our money)? Why can’t that be used for solar, wind, geo-thermal, etc?

We are a screwed-up society that would rather hype than find long-term solutions for problems. We would rather look at half truths, distortions, etc than analyze complex cost-benefit approaches.

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By mrefu, June 17, 2008 at 6:39 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This from Reuters….

http://in.reuters.com/article/lifestyleMolt/idINSP7366720080613

Hope it’s true. Would be amazing for future of the planet.

Peace,
mrefu

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By Inherit The Wind, June 16, 2008 at 7:32 pm Link to this comment

Louise, June 16 at 4:45 pm #

Inherit The Wind, June 16 at 9:48 am #

“Cars that “run on water” is an OLD scam.”

Golly whiz, maybe I better tell that guy who drives around town dripping water out of his exhaust he’s running on a scam. Naw, I’ll just let him be, so he can keep driving around town.

Yeah, you tell him.  Because like Uri Geller, he’s a scam artist.  There was a guy who claimed the same thing and had Henry Ford interested back in the 20’s.  He was a fraud, too.

Where’s the science?  Show me THAT and I’ll be convinced.  But the “I heard this guy runs a car on water.” and even “I’ve seen him driving around dripping water” is pure manure as an argument. I’ve seen LOTS of gasoline-powered cars dripping water from their exhausts every day.  It’s very, very common.

As for Jackpine Savage: I’m very glad you know that extracting hydrogen is NOT energy intensive.  Can you please explain the science of how one extracts H2 from water or other compounds without it costing more energy than it produces?  If that’s so, once you had enough H2 to power the process, you’d be able to continuously produce H2 in ever greater amounts—in effect, having a perpetual motion machine.  So, if I were you, I’d patent it, then start building it and selling it, because YOU alone will have solved all our energy problems forever.

Thanks!

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By Louise, June 16, 2008 at 5:45 pm Link to this comment

Inherit The Wind, June 16 at 9:48 am #

“Cars that “run on water” is an OLD scam.”

Golly whiz, maybe I better tell that guy who drives around town dripping water out of his exhaust he’s running on a scam. Naw, I’ll just let him be, so he can keep driving around town.

Guess I better not let that guy, well actually quite a few, that pick up oil every weekend it doesn’t work in a gasoline engine. Wouldn’t want them giving up what works for them just because someone who isn’t doing it says it cant be done.

Geez, do you think maybe doubters and nay-sayers might be part of the reason nothing ever changes?

All the same, for those who think they can just go out and get the hose, or the left over cooking oil, there are a few ajustments that need to be made. But they are cheap and doable.

Course you’ve got to be able to read and have enough faith in yourself to turn a screw, or make a decision. Other than that, the only thing holding up real change is a real effort to keep us all scared to try.

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By jackpine savage, June 16, 2008 at 3:21 pm Link to this comment

No this car does not run on coal.  Currently, most hydrogen is split from natural gas.  But it can be obtained from water, ammonia, etc. Yes, it takes energy to procure the hydrogen.  But it actually takes very little energy.  The home fueling station planned to pair with this vehicle will be (in its second generation) powered by a solar array or a small wind-turbine.

We’ll always be tied to something, unless we just walk everywhere. (how many miles to the calorie do you get?)

No single solution will solve our energy/climate issues.  The best way to get hydrogen is from water, but that doesn’t make much sense in the desert.  Regions and lifeways are going to have to adapt the best solutions individually.  There’s no such thing as a silver bullet.

Germany buses are often hydrogen powered.  They get the hydrogen by equipping a ship with electrolysis equipment and a small wind farm on the deck.  The ship is sea anchored into the wind and when the hold is full of hydrogen the ship returns to port.

And why is it that when someone presents a viable alternative solution to a problem, the first people to talk about how it isn’t good enough are the progressive environmentalists? (nothing is free, no matter what your suburban, American upbringing taught you)

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By dave, June 16, 2008 at 2:48 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

you jackass, can we store the spent rods at your house?

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By Ed, June 16, 2008 at 2:40 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Used cooking oil can be converted to bio-diesel, which can run in almost any diesel engine. That doesn’t do anything for GASOLINE engines.

I doubt very much that hydrogen would be any more dangerous than gasoline, which cars have been carrying around in large quantities for about a century.

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By Inherit The Wind, June 16, 2008 at 10:48 am Link to this comment

Cars that “run on water” is an OLD scam.

Sure, you can have a system that breaks the bonds between the H2 and 0 in water and capture them separately, then burn the H2 in the O2 and create energy, and water…but it consumes more energy than it produces.  So how are you going to do it? Burn propane or natural gas? Solar panels on the roof?

No, the idea of an H2 system is you need a method whereby the excess energy used to extract the H2 is irrelevant—like a windmill, hydro-electric plant or solar panels—that’s the only way it’s non-polluting.  Then the problem is simply can you build such a system at low enough cost to be paid for by the H2 you produce?

Again, the energy you use to extract the H2 must be in itself cost-free because you’ll use more than you’ll get.  So you have to get energy that’s out there and being otherwise squandered and not exploited.  For example: We all know nuclear power plants have these giant cooling towers.  All that heat energy is lost and being, instead, dumped into the atmosphere.  But if that heat energy could itself be tapped to extract H2, it would be free energy, and less heat would be released.

Sure, it’s a dream.  But parts of it aren’t—like hydro, wind, solar, tidal, and even excess capacity from nuclear plants.

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By Neo, June 16, 2008 at 10:32 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

These cars essentially run on something like 80% coal, 8% hydro and 12% nuclear energy, since the hydrogen will most likely be generated using electricity.

While hydro and nuclear energy don’t emit much in the way of “greenhouse gases’, coal does. All this car does is move the point of where the “greenhouse gas” is emitted, from the highway to the power plant.

Unless there is a drive for more nuclear plant, consider this car reducing emissions by 20%, at least in the USA anyway.

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By webbedouin, June 16, 2008 at 10:09 am Link to this comment

RE: Outraged

Have been looking at that too.  Frankly it seems as if it adds Hydrogen to the fuel stream via the air intake.  So the engine is burning gas, oxygen & hydrogen.  Seems to me like it would work.  Here is another link to a vendor:

http://www.drivewithwaterfuel.com/?hop=y2008

Been seriously thinking about plunking down the $49.  Have not found somebody selling a full on kit.  So far, only how to info…

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Outraged's avatar

By Outraged, June 16, 2008 at 9:35 am Link to this comment

Re: Louise

I’ve seen this as well.  Of course I was curious as to whether this was a scam or legit.  Anyone familiar with this?

http://www.runyourcarwithwater.com/?hop=watertt

I’m not endorsing this particular site or their products and I’ve seen others but I’m curious…. does this work..?

Re: webbedouin

Great link, thanks.  Just one more reason they would want to privatize water.  What will happen if we all start riding bikes…..?  Pedals (of course) will become “a scarce resource”.....LOL

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By Conservative Yankee, June 16, 2008 at 8:54 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I always like to hear about “alternate” fuel vehicles.

Currently it takes one pound of natural gas to make one pound of hydrogen fuel. 

hydrogen IS the most plentiful substance in our universe, but not plentiful on earth.

The hydrogen fuel cell car may at some point be PART of the solution, but it’s not a “magic bullet”

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By webbedouin, June 16, 2008 at 8:06 am Link to this comment

Oh Yawn, another chained-to-the-pump based system with a meter, and a budding ifrastructure.

Water-fuel car unveiled in Japan
http://uk.reuters.com/news/video?videoId=84561

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By Louise, June 16, 2008 at 7:28 am Link to this comment

[Pssst, over here ... Did you know you could run a car on water?

Or left over french fry oil?

Or how cheap and easy it is to convert that gas guzzling clunker you’re driving to do either one?

Big secret. Don’t tell anyone I told you so. wink]

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By Inherit The Wind, June 16, 2008 at 7:24 am Link to this comment

Don’t hold back, PG.  Tell us how you REALLY feel!

BTW, I have an American-made truck—a Toyota Tundra!  My last one was American-made too—a Nissan King Cab.

While GM and Ford and Chrysler are whining that they cannot make competitive vehicles right here in the USA because of wages and regulations, Japan went right ahead and found it was MORE cost-effective to open new plants here in the US and hire CHEAPER American workers (cheaper than Japan).  What’s so terrible about going into a depressed area and creating 1000 to 10,000 high-paying hi-tech auto assembly jobs?

All you have to do it look at Harley-Davidson and compare it to ANY Japanese motorcycle company, or BMW, Ducati, Aprilia, Triumph or KTM to see a perfect microcosm of the problems of the auto industry.  H-D has FINALLY figured out that it’s saturated it’s market.  There’s nobody else that wants a horribly over-priced, over-weight, under-powered, bad-handling unreliable status symbol.

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Purple Girl's avatar

By Purple Girl, June 16, 2008 at 5:37 am Link to this comment

As ususal though it is A foreign Auto maker- Screwed the Pooch again ah Big 3?
Gratned it may not be glitch free- bu tafter the Pinot Bomb on Wheels and the Crash ‘em up SUV’s we’ve grown more Brave with every passing Decade.No to tmntion the outrageous Repair bills we’ve faced with nearly every new model year.
So let the Big 3 Propagnda machines begin their Lies- We have a running list of their Errors in engineering and Ethics to combat them.
As soon as I can Unshackle myself from my Current Ford P.O.S.( Ford Escape-Death Trap), I’m done buying the so called ‘American’ Auto makers Crap for Good!
Note Born & Raised in Michigan.The State they treated like their Whore for a Century.Used Us Abused Us an dLeft Us for Dead. Thanks for Blocking all those iniatives for Mass Transit Too threw the Decades- Screwed Us coming & going.What type of True ‘Ameircan’ Spirit do you consider that?I would like them to have their American Flags Ripped Down from their flagPoles around the World and an Eviction notice telling them to get out and Stay Out!the Blood from their Treasonous alliegance and servitude to the Oil Industry deserves Revenge- a dish Best served COLD!

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By jackpine savage, June 16, 2008 at 5:06 am Link to this comment

Here’s a little bit of trivia: “When did Honda start its fuel cell research?”  Answer: “1999”  That’s right, in less than ten years they went from thinking to selling.  GM says that its fuel cell vehicle is still about a decade away from production.

And don’t let anyone fool you about the availability of hydrogen for fueling up.  Hydrogen is a very common industrial gas.  Several US companies generate revenues in the billions by trucking/piping the stuff around the country right now.  And industry leaders suggest that they could have a full (if not fancy) network of filling stations operational in two years or less.

Now here’s the part that the article doesn’t tell you.  Honda bought the license for a product developed by a company called Plug Power (an American company, btw).  When the FCX is in full production, it will be available with Plug Power’s fueling station. 

The stations are about the size of a central AC unit and will have the capability to fill one FCX hydrogen tank per day (which equates to about 280 miles of driving).  It will also be able to power your house.  The first generation will be natural gas separation technology.  The second will be electrolysis powered by wind/solar.

I’d like an FCX, but i’d rather have the home generator.

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By Inherit The Wind, June 16, 2008 at 4:01 am Link to this comment

I’m delighted!  It’s 25 years too late, but better late than never.  Ronald Reagan shut down ALL research into H2 power, as well as all alternatives.  There are several problems to H2 that should have been solved long, long ago.

1) Producing the stuff economically. Weirdly, most energy companies use fossil fuel to produce it—and use more energy than is released.  But if hydro, wind, solar, tidal, geothermal, and, yes, nuclear are used to produce it, the excess energy used is basically costless—but the equipment used must be effectively amortized.

2) Storing the stuff safely on-board vehicles and in depots.  H2 is not only extremely volatile, it’s extremely flammable, and, being the fundamental element, extremely reactive with most everything else (I.E.—corrosive).  Much of this is solved but is expensive still.  The ONE safe thing about it is if it’s loose, it rises and doesn’t stay close to the ground.

3) Distribution. There is no distribution network nor were the GOP thralls to the oil and gas moguls every interested in developing one. This alone may be the biggest problem.

4) Fuel cells: These require platinum as the catalyst to convert H2 and O2 into electricity and water without a flame. Costs of production of these have come down from “only NASA” to viable.  But Platinum’s price has gone insane like all other commodities that reflect a falling dollar.  The alternative: Internal Combustion engines using H2 don’t seem to have gone anywhere.  I suspect the issues of corrosive H2 are too tough—unlike propane which is easy for gas engines to burn.  Still, IC engines using H2 would be as essentially pollution-free as fuel cells—without the platinum.

5) George Bush has endorsed it.  Talk about the kiss of death! It’s clear his only reason to endorse it was the long development time and to kill other non-polluting energy sources, while pretending to be pro-environment. Curiously, the ONLY place Bush is ACTUALLY in favor of being “green” is his own Crawford ranch.  It’s good enough for him, but not good enough for the rest of us.

6) We KNOW the fossil fuel companies have tried to quash ALL alternative fuels—bio-fuels have been around since the late 70’s but have been stymied every way possible.  It’s not that alcohol and bio-diesel aren’t good, but they STILL pollute and SHOULD have been implemented 20-25 years ago as the stop-gap on the way to energy independence AND H2 fuel.  But to the GOP, Exxon, Texas Gulf, Conoco, Royal Dutch Shell, Occidental, etc were far, far more important.  And the world has paid the price of this insanity.

At least Honda has FINALLY taken the first step.  BMW has an H2 car in prototype as well.  Toyota pioneered making hybrids ordinary.

While Ford and GM built bigger and bigger mega-SUVs, and businesses got tax BREAKS for using them. Every MD would buy one and pay LESS than if he had a more fuel efficient car.  Thanks to the GOP.

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By dsmith, June 16, 2008 at 3:45 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Our best seller is the armour laden Humvees for our troops in the Iraq and Afgan proviences.

While “The Decider” travels through Europe setting the stage for future needless wars, Japan is leaving our country in the dust.

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