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Making its North American debut, the CR-Z is a next-generation lightweight sports car concept equipped with Honda's original gas-electric hybrid system that achieves both clean performance and a high level of torque. The CR-Z stands for "Compact Renaissance Zero" - an expression intended to capture the idea of a renaissance in the design of compact cars that begins anew from fundamentals. The design research model of a lightweight hybrid sports car features advanced technologies that deliver elevated driving performance while reducing the vehicle's environmental footprint.
The FCX Clarity is a next-generation, zero-emissions, hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicle based on the entirely new Honda V Flow fuel cell platform, and powered by the highly compact, efficient and powerful Honda V Flow fuel cell stack. Featuring tremendous improvements to driving range, power, weight and efficiency - and boasting a low-slung, dynamic and sophisticated appearance, previously unachievable in a fuel cell vehicle - the FCX Clarity marks the significant progress Honda continues to make in advancing the real-world performance and appeal of the hydrogen-powered fuel cell car.
American Honda plans to lease the FCX Clarity to a limited number of retail consumers in Southern California with the first deliveries taking place in summer 2008. Full details of the lease program will be set closer to launch, but current plans call for a three-year lease term with a price of $600 per month.
The only thing that concerns me is the fact that its explosive.
Q: Will this hydrogen fuel be dangerous?
A: Certainly there are safety issues involved in handling hydrogen, just as there are safety issues in handling any "fuel," including gasoline. Both hydrogen and gasoline are extremely flammable and need to be carefully contained away from ignition sources. Hydrogen differs from gasoline since it's normally a gas (here, "gas" is NOT short for "gasoline"!). Hydrogen gas is much lighter than air and is fortunately nontoxic. If a hydrogen tank is stored outside and leaks, the hydrogen will quickly float away (like a helium- or hydrogen-filled balloon), and not hurt anyone. If the leaky tank is inside a room with inadequate ventilation, the room could fill up with hydrogen and become a fire or explosion risk. One more thing: since hydrogen gas is so light, a small amount will normally fill up a very large volume. To save space, people like to pack the hydrogen atoms into containment cylinders under very high pressures (hundreds of times the normal pressure outside). If these cylinders are ruptured, there can be a dangerous explosion.
Scared yet?! Not to worry. The safety aspects of handling hydrogen are being taken very seriously. If and when hydrogen takes the place of gasoline in our cars, rigorous safety codes and standards will ensure that the proper hydrogen-handling equipment and procedures are in place to keep the public out of harm's way.