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Hydrogen Fuel Cell Cars From Honda, GM and BMW

Jul 22, 2008
Years ago, when the subject first came up, the idea of a hydrogen powered car probably seemed unlikely, like something out of a science fiction novel. But now it is a reality as Honda lines up buyers for its first hydrogen fuel cell car, the FCX Clarity.

Over the next couple of years Honda is planning on making just 200 of the hydrogen cars, and they won't be cheap. Expect them to cost a few hundred grand. In addition, Honda is also starting to build the infrastructure to support their technological breakthrough, with three dealerships and fueling stations being built in California to support their customer base. Unsurprisingly, it's mostly celebrities lining up to buy the zero emission cars so California certainly makes the most sense as the home base of Honda's hydrogen autos.

Honda isn't the only company working on hydrogen as a fuel source for cars and trucks. BMW has been on the action for awhile now. The German auto company has gone in a different direction from Honda thoughInstead of creating a hydrogen fuel cell car which converts hydrogen to electricty to run the car (essentially these are electric cars), they've created a car with an internal combustion engine that can either run on liquid hydrogen or gasoline. With only two hydrogen filling stations located in all of Germany, this makes a lot of economical sense, but it must be quite the engineering feat. BMW's hydrogen powered car is called the Hydrogen 7.

Unfortunately, while the BMW Hydrogen 7 is a production ready model rather than a prototype, you can't go to your nearest BMW dealer and buy one, not even if you live in Germany. Instead, BMW has manufactured 100 of the Hydrogen 7 cars and leased them out to various world leaders, celebrities and other famous folk to use. I suppose it is a way of spreading the word about the new hydrogen car with lots of free publicity. It is a sweet looking car though, and the Hydrogen 7 is a V-12. Talk about horsepower!

Like the Honda's FCX Clarity, the BMW Hydrogen 7 is a zero-emissions vehicle when it is running hydrogen. Naturally , it does have emissions when the button is pushed to run the car on gasoline though. But basically, we are talking about a vehicle that not only doesn't produce any CO2 gases or other types of pollution, it even cleans the air around the car (sort of!) What happen is that it pulls in air through the front grille and consumes that during combustion. Then cleaner air exits the tailpipe. Pretty amazing, isn't it?

But lest you think it is only foreign car companies that are creating these new hydrogen cars, General Motors has gotten involved with the technology as well. The GM version of the hydrogen fuel cell car is called the Chevy Equinox. With no internal combustion, the GM Chevy Equinox runs on H2 (Hydrogen) and electricity. GM put 100 of the Chevy Equinox Fuel Cell cars on the road this year, in New York, California and Washington, D.C.
About the Author
Unless you are a celebrity you won't be able to buy one of these hydrogen cars, but you can increase your own fuel efficiency with hydrogen generators for your car or pick up a PMW Controller from Hydrogen Car Kits
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