City Of LA Takes Delivery Of First Fuel Cell Car
The City of Los Angeles today took delivery of the nation's first fuel cell car, the Honda FCX. The Honda FCX being leased by the City will be used in normal, everyday use and was delivered in a ceremony including Mayor Jim Hahn and Hiroyuki Yoshino, President and CEO of Honda Motor Co., Ltd., at City Hall.
The hydrogen-powered Honda FCX is the only fuel cell vehicle certified by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and U.S. EPA for every day commercial use. Under the two-year lease agreement, the City of LA will pay $500 a month to lease the first of five Honda FCX models with the other four vehicles being delivered in 2003. In addition, Honda has contracted with Air Products and Chemicals, Inc., based in Allentown, PA with local operations in El Segundo, to provide the hydrogen fuel and refueling infrastructure.
"This is a very exciting day for the City of Los Angeles as it takes a major, national leadership role in putting hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicles into practical, everyday use," Mayor Hahn said. "Los Angeles City employees will use these fuel cell vehicles on a day-to-day basis, just like any other pool vehicle
"Hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicles hold great promise for future clean air vehicles and it is important that LA play a leading role in assisting in the development and early use of this technology. Working with Honda Motor company, which has a long history of firsts in developing environmentally sound vehicles, adds to the great prospect for continued air quality improvements for the citizens of Los Angeles."
Honda plans to lease about 30 fuel cell cars in California and Japan during the next two to three years. The company currently has no plans, however, for mass-market sales of fuel cell vehicles or sales to individuals.
"The future of the fuel cell vehicle shows great promise in reducing the global dependence on oil, and our association with the great City of Los Angeles is an important step in the pursuit of this goal," said Yoshino.
Both CARB and the EPA have certified the Honda FCX as a Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV). The FCX uses hydrogen supplied to a fuel cell "stack" to generate electricity that powers its electric motor.
With an output of up to 80 horsepower and 201 foot-pounds of torque, acceleration is similar to a Honda Civic. Water vapor is the only exhaust. The FCX has a range of up to 170 miles and seating for four people, making it practical for a wide range of real-world applications.
Honda undertook fuel cell research in 1989 and has been road testing vehicles in the United States since 1999. Honda has also been a member of the California Fuel Cell Partnership based in Sacramento, Calif., since 1999.