Monday, January 29, 2007

New Green Cars

Honda has come up with a new hydrogen car. They call the power center a "fuel cell," and in fact the car is called a FCV (fuel cell vehicle). The model they are putting into production is called the FCX Concept. It will be sold in "limited markets" in Japan and the US in 2008. The only waste product of the engine is water... clean water. That's it. How about that? It will travel 270 miles on a single hydrogen tank and its maximum speed is 100mph. The engine will start in weather as cold as 30 degrees below Centigrade. The gauges on the dashboard look like something out of Star Trek (... or beyond Star Trek actually, cause the Star Trek tech look is a bit dated, neh?). The interior fabric is made out of plant material fabric (they don't say what...). Price is not in the details on the site I looked at yet. The website loads very slowly (at least for me), but you can find out more about it and see pictures here and here and here. A warning: all of those sites take a long time to load. What I don't like about it: it's a low-rider, a *very* low-rider - no good for mountainous terrain, or even going over speed bumps from the looks of it. They also show off the fact that what's under the hood is very small and efficient by making the front end practically non-existent. It looks odd... I wish it were going to be released in more models soon, suitable for a variety of lifestyles and locations, but I get that the tech is new, so it's going to be limited for awhile.

To the best of my knowledge, GM is also working on a hydrogen car. Also to the best of my knowledge they are no where near ready to begin commercial production... Come on, GM, get on it!

Also, with a different kind of power source:

Tesla, a California-based car company, has made an electric sports car. It's going into commercial production by next year. It is an all electric car, will go from 0 to 60 in 4 seconds and has a range of 250 miles on a single charge. The motor is completely silent. It will cost buyers around $100,000, depending on options. In a few years, they plan to also have a more affordable, sensible sedan. I'm willing to bet that that one is going to cost about what a new Mercedes or BMW sedan costs... way more than I'd pay for a new car, electric or not. Tesla also promises that as the technology is refined the cars will go further and further on a single charge.

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