|TORRANCE, Calif, U.S.A., September 18, 2003 – The Honda FCX, the world's first commercially certified fuel cell vehicle, will compete in the production class at the 2003 Michelin Challenge Bibendum. Far from just a concept or prototype vehicle, the hydrogen-powered FCX is in production now and being used on a daily basis by the City of Los Angeles, the world's first commercial fuel cell customer.
Honda's FCX is further distinguished as the first and only fuel cell vehicle to receive certification from both the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the California Air Resources Board for everyday commercial use. It has also been tested to ensure compliance with all applicable government regulations including all safety requirements, a claim unique to the Honda FCX.
"EPA certification is unique to the FCX and indicates how serious we are about bringing this technology to market," said Gunnar Lindstrom, senior manager of Alternative Fuel Vehicles for American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "It's in the introduction of the application of these vehicles to real customers that we gain a deeper understanding of the application of alternative fuel technologies and the challenges to the marketplace."
Offering strong driving performance, comfort and safety expected of modern gasoline-powered vehicles, the FCX goes the extra mile by adding superb energy efficiency, zero emissions operation and the flexibility of hydrogen power. It builds on years of Honda innovations by integrating an array of advanced technologies that have evolved from the company's research and real world experience with battery electric, gas-electric hybrid and natural gas vehicle programs - such as high-pressure gaseous fuel storage and highly-efficient electric drive. The FCX also incorporates an advanced, Honda-developed ultra capacitor to efficiently store and discharge electrical energy for improved efficiency and performance.
The FCX fuel cell stack creates electricity for powering the car's drive motor by combining oxygen and hydrogen in a chemical reaction, with water and heat as the only byproducts. The fuel cell powerplant is efficiently packaged to provide ample room for four passengers. With assistance from the ultra capacitor, the fuel cell stack powers the FCX to a top speed of 87 mph with a driving range of 160 miles (EPA-certified), with performance similar to that of a Honda gasoline-powered Honda Civic.
Held for the second time in the U.S., the 2003 Challenge Bibendum is taking place from September 23-25 at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California with closing ceremonies in nearby San Francisco.