Honda hy­dro due this year

Matamata Chronicle - - What’s On - DAVID SHEP­ARD­SON

Honda Mo­tor Co said on Thurs­day it will start sell­ing its new hy­dro­gen fuel cell ve­hi­cle in Cal­i­for­nia by year’s end.

Honda is the lat­est au­tomaker to bring hy­dro­gen pow­ered ve­hi­cles to mar­ket amid in­creas­ing zero emis­sion ve­hi­cle man­dates from Cal­i­for­nia and other US states.

The Ja­panese au­tomaker made the an­nounce­ment at the Wash­ing­ton auto show, say­ing the next-gen­er­a­tion Honda Clar­ity Fuel Cell model will cost around US$60,000 (NZ$91,000) with a tar­geted monthly lease un­der US$500. Honda de­clined to say how many it planned to sell.

The ve­hi­cle will go on sale in Ja­pan in a few months and in the United States by end of the year. It will ini­tially only be leased.

The ve­hi­cle’s plat­form, or ba­sic un­der­pin­nings, will also be used for a new plug-in hy­brid elec­tric car due by 2018.

Honda said it ex­pects by 2020 that 20 per cent of its US ve­hi­cle sales will be hy­brids. It will sell its 2017 Ac­cord hy­brid later this year.

One big is­sue for fuel cell ve­hi­cles is that there are only a hand­ful of hy­dro­gen re­fu­elling sta­tions.

Sales will be­gin at some deal­er­ships in Los An­ge­les and Or­ange coun­ties, Sacra­mento and the San Fran­cisco Bay Area. Honda did not of­fer de­tails about planned sales else­where in the United States.

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