Honda has started first deliveries of its radical FCX Clarity fuel cell vehicle to customers in America. Some 200 hand-built FCX’s will be delivered to a wide range of customers, including high-profile celebrities – like actress Jamie Lee Curtis – as well as normal working families. The project is part of Honda’s goal to stimulate energy suppliers to create a more viable hydrogen supply network, a move backed by Arnold Schwarzenegger, the governor of California.
How much does a piece of the future cost then?
The FCX’s leasing plan is pretty straightforward – customers pay $600 a month for three years, a price that includes servicing charges. At the end of the lease period, the cars return to Honda for evaluation. Despite the hefty monthly outlay ($620 a month over three years will get you into a fully loaded BMW 535i) the leasing costs will be heavily subsidised by Honda. The company is understandably reluctant to talk specifics, but CAR understands each FCX costs Honda £500,000 to build.
Hmm, some subsidy. What about getting hold of the hydrogen?
Close proximity to Southern California’s four hydrogen stations – situated in Irvine, Santa Monica, Burbank and Long Beach – was the key requirement for Honda when it came to selecting potential customers. Some 50,000 Americans put their name forward when Honda announced the programme last year. Honda has set up a bespoke fuel cell service centre in Torrance, California to handle the cars’ annual servicing requirements.
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