Honda prefers hydrogen fuel-cells over electric-vehicles

Honda FCX Clarity

In the past couple of days, we’ve seen automakers flaunt their electric-car developments. General Motors announced that its 2011 Chevrolet Volt will average 230 mpg in the city (allegedly); Nissan introduced its Nissan LEAF EV; and electric-sports car maker Tesla Motors announced that it turned profitable for the first time.

However, Honda Motor Co. is not impressed and is backing up hydrogen power for the cars of the future.

“Fuel-cell cars will become necessary,” said Takashi Moriya, head of Honda’s group developing the technology. “We’re positioning it as the ultimate zero-emission car.”

Honda, which is the only automaker leasing fuel-cell vehicles to the public, opened a production line in Tochigi to produce 200 units of its FCX Clarity sedan.

“Honda has a propensity to think very long term,” said Ed Kim, an analyst at AutoPacific Inc. “It’s also part of the company culture that if they’ve made a decision they think is correct, they’ll really stick with it.”

Honda’s fuel-cell strategy seems to be at odds with the Obama administration’s goal to favor electric-vehicles over fuel-cell powered cars. The Department of Energy recently provided Nissan with $1.6 billion in funding to develop electric vehicles and lithium-ion batteries. Tesla Motors also received $465 million to produces its Model S electric-sedan.

Honda FCX Clarity:

– By: Kap Shah