Honda Takes Hydrogen Out for a Spin

With the world just starting to use more oil than it likely can produce over time, it's a decided positive to have an automobile company contemplating production of a hydrogen car, rather than cranking out giant eight-cylinder SUVs as rapidly as suburban families can drive them off dealers' lots. On that basis, I applaud Honda (NYSE: HMC  ) , which will introduce a state-of-the-art hydrogen fuel-cell car in California next year.

It appears that the big Japanese auto company will begin with the zero-emissions FCX Clarity, which will be leased to a few customers on a limited basis at a cost of about $600 a month. The fuel-cell car will emit only water. Honda remains silent on the specific technology involved, as well as on its own approaches to dealing with the numerous technical obstacles facing manufacturers of hydrogen engines.

According to a Scientific American article on hydrogen-engine technology, Ford (NYSE: F  ) and BMW also plan to offer cars powered by hydrogen engines in the not-too-distant future. The companies are, however, facing numerous technological impediments to their efforts.

These include the relative space necessary to house the hydrogen fuel, the (often high-pressure) storage necessary for hydrogen gas in the automobile, the speed at which hydrogen refills can be added to the engine, the distance a hydrogen fill-up will permit the driver to travel, and the temperature at which the hydrogen is both stored and used in the engine. Each of these areas is presenting a challenge that scientists throughout the world are working diligently to overcome.

But with cars and trucks in the U.S. accounting for about two-thirds of the more than 20 million barrels of oil our nation consumes each day, efforts to conquer hydrogen's challenges are both welcome and necessary. Those efforts are occurring in laboratories from Japan to Germany. Collectively, they demonstrate tremendous promise.

Honda hasn't disclosed how many vehicles will be made available through its initial lease program. It also hasn't discussed the cost of each automobile. But given our global energy supply demand balance, along with the mounting concerns about the role of hydrocarbon emissions in global warming, my hat goes off to the companies that are moving toward the production of alternatively fueled, clean-burning engines. The results should include all sorts of lifestyle, national security, and investment benefits for the Foolish world.

For more high output, low emission articles:

Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (5)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Compare Brokers

Fool Disclosure

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 540811, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 10/26/2016 11:29:27 PM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Today's Market

updated 2 hours ago Sponsored by:
DOW 18,199.33 30.06 0.17%
S&P 500 2,139.43 -3.73 -0.17%
NASD 5,250.27 -33.13 -0.63%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

10/26/2016 4:06 PM
HMC $29.94 Up +0.02 +0.07%
Honda Motor CAPS Rating: ****
F $11.88 Up +0.03 +0.25%
Ford CAPS Rating: ****