Print 81 comment(s) - last by Entropy42.. on Aug 20 at 2:17 PM

Honda's FCX gets a fat check from the government

Tax credits for buying fuel efficient vehicles isn't anything out of the ordinary in the United States. Hybrids like the Toyota Prius, Honda Civic Hybrid and Ford Escape Hybrid have qualified for tax credits (as much as $3,150 for the Prius) from the Internal Revenue Service for a few years now.

Toyota, however, has become a victim of its own success when it comes to tax credits for its hybrid vehicles. Due to restrictions implemented by the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (based on the number of units sold), Toyota hybrid buyers saw their tax credit drop from $3,150 in Q3 2006 to $1,575 in Q4 2006 and to $787 in Q2 2007 -- by Q4 2007, the tax credit will disappear.

While Toyota may be losing a key selling point in offloading its hybrids to customers, Honda just earned a whopper of a credit from the IRS. Its FCX hydrogen fuel cell vehicle has qualified for a $12,000 tax credit from the IRS.

Honda Fuel Cell Marketing Manager Stephen Ellis remarked that the $12,000 IRS credit was "further validation that the FCX is a real vehicle" and proves that hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are "another step toward market viability."

"The consumer focus is where we need to put more attention," said Ellis in May. "We started with fleets, added a few consumers, now we're going to swing the pendulum."

Despite the fact that the IRS coughed up the tax credit and Honda was quick to praise the recognition, the FCX is still not available to the public. The vehicle will see limited consumer trials in 2008. And there's also the issue of pricing -- Honda still hasn't provided an estimate for the cost of the vehicle.

The FCX has a driving range of 270 miles and a top speed of 100 MPH. Its 0-60 acceleration of 9 seconds flat won't win many stoplight races, but it should be enough for most buyers.

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

By UppityMatt on 8/9/2007 12:53:45 PM , Rating: 1
Why cant they make a Hydrogen Car that looks... well normal. Throw it on an accord frame and im sure they will do fine, but im sick of these ugly (to me) cars.

RE: Ugly?
By fk49 on 8/9/2007 1:08:22 PM , Rating: 2
Most of the efficiency of these cars comes from superior aerodynamics rather than an efficient engine. They've shown that with the Prius vs Civic/Accord hybrids.

Unfortunately, as another poster complained, this design, right now, yields the best aerodynamics.

RE: Ugly?
By blaster5k on 8/9/2007 1:20:39 PM , Rating: 5
Personally, I like the design. It's sexier than the '07 Accord I think.

RE: Ugly?
By A5un on 8/9/2007 1:21:41 PM , Rating: 2
Totally agree with you there. Accords are just so boring looking

RE: Ugly?
By Aprime on 8/9/2007 1:43:41 PM , Rating: 2
The '08(.5, or maybe '09, it isn't clear right now) won't be doing anything to help it, I tell ya.

RE: Ugly?
By Spuke on 8/9/2007 2:57:32 PM , Rating: 3
You can have a beautiful shape with a low coefficient of drag. The new Infiniti G37 has a CD of .29 which pretty low. I think the design of the hybrids is more intentional than functional.

RE: Ugly?
By DocDraken on 8/10/2007 7:12:10 AM , Rating: 2
A CD of 0.29 is definitely not impressive! That was only good back in the early to mid 90's.

RE: Ugly?
By ralith on 8/10/2007 10:28:43 AM , Rating: 2
Wikipedia seems to disagree with you. See and scroll most of the way down and they have a nice list of car pics and Cd for the car below it. A Cd of .29 seems like it is on the good side still. Of course as the article states it does depend greatly on what the car designer are trying to do.

RE: Ugly?
By PCDestroyer on 8/10/2007 5:55:32 PM , Rating: 2
You shouldn't believe everything you read...especially from Wikipedia...

RE: Ugly?
By Samus on 8/10/2007 4:56:29 PM , Rating: 2
Dude, my mustang has a drag of .30, and its a box. I agree with Doc, .29 isn't anything spectacular, most modern cars are beyond that nowadays.

RE: Ugly?
By GhandiInstinct on 8/9/2007 6:48:49 PM , Rating: 3
What are you talking about?!?!?!?!

The 08' looks AMAZING, best looking sedan in its class.

RE: Ugly?
By A5un on 8/9/2007 7:16:15 PM , Rating: 2
Acura TL anyone?

RE: Ugly?
By maevinj on 8/9/2007 11:34:54 PM , Rating: 2
looks like a tiburon

RE: Ugly?
By Trogdor on 8/9/2007 11:47:33 PM , Rating: 2
Only that's a coupe...

RE: Ugly?
By Spyvie on 8/9/2007 1:29:23 PM , Rating: 2
This car looks way cool.

Shorten the wheelbase a little and make it a coup, it would be the most aggressive looking car on the road.

RE: Ugly?
By exanimas on 8/9/2007 1:29:36 PM , Rating: 1
From the side it almost looks like a mix of a Lamborghini and a Dodge Intrepid. Just my opinion though.

RE: Ugly?
By estarkey7 on 8/9/2007 2:26:11 PM , Rating: 2
I was looking at the car and could quite pinpoint why it looked so familiar to me? But if it was bright red, black or Canary Yellow, it could sure pass for a Lambo!!!

RE: Ugly?
By feraltoad on 8/9/2007 4:29:02 PM , Rating: 2
I was totally thinking the same thing. IMO it looks great. A black one with all tinted windows would be very easy on the eyes, if not the maitenance of the finish.

RE: Ugly?
By JonnyDough on 8/10/2007 6:52:42 AM , Rating: 2
It needs suicide doors. :-P

RE: Ugly?
By BillyBatson on 8/9/2007 4:05:53 PM , Rating: 2
I actually don't think this is too ugly it has a little more sport feel to it and isn't nearly as ugly as the Prius which is one of the ugliest cars ever imo.
However they already HAVE a hybrid slapped onto an accord frame, civic frame, Camry fram, and many more that lok like normal cars.

RE: Ugly?
By Treckin on 8/9/2007 5:22:03 PM , Rating: 2
The reason they cant 'throw it on an Accord frame is that it has to be installed on its own special platform.

The only questions I have are:
1) When will the energy companies shut this down?
2) When will there be sufficient hydrogen infrastructure to make such a vehicle viable for the average Joe?

on number 2, considering that the franchise rights for most US gas stations are owned and often even operated directly by the energy peddlers, are they likely to undercut their petroleum sales in favor of a product that will create fewer stops by customers at a reduced fuel cost and profit margin for them? I would say that they are more likely to offer hydrogen at pumping stations, but they will adjust the price so that its only a few cents per mile cheaper than standard gas

RE: Ugly?
By masher2 on 8/9/2007 5:54:44 PM , Rating: 2
> "I would say that they are more likely to offer hydrogen at pumping stations, but they will adjust the price so that its only a few cents per mile cheaper than standard gas "

It'll start that way. Then Station A will notice that, by slightly undercutting Station B, they can make triple the sales and almost triple the profit. Station B will retaliate...and shortly, hydrogen will be sold as cheap as production costs and a reasonable ROI allow.

RE: Ugly?
By Ringold on 8/9/2007 9:02:51 PM , Rating: 2
Given that the only large source of hydrogen currently remains fossil fuels... what, again, would be the energy sector's motive to create demand destruction?

Oh, and how, exactly, would an Exxon Mobil even manage to pull that off? A hostile take-over and subsequent cancellation would be a *tad* bit obvious.. as would be all other possible routes.

They couldn't crush the supply side, either, as there are plenty of independent gas stations already who, given a profit incentive, would make the supply available.

A little paranoid, are we? :)

RE: Ugly?
By Treckin on 8/9/2007 5:23:19 PM , Rating: 2
The reason they cant 'throw it on an Accord frame is that it has to be installed on its own special platform.

The only questions I have are:
1) When will the energy companies shut this down?
2) When will there be sufficient hydrogen infrastructure to make such a vehicle viable for the average Joe?

on number 2, considering that the franchise rights for most US gas stations are owned and often even operated directly by the energy peddlers, are they likely to undercut their petroleum sales in favor of a product that will create fewer stops by customers at a reduced fuel cost and profit margin for them? I would say that they are more likely to offer hydrogen at pumping stations, but they will adjust the price so that its only a few cents per mile cheaper than standard gas

Where will the hydrogen come from?
By Scott66 on 8/9/2007 1:08:23 PM , Rating: 3
The most common generation method for hydrogen is to use natural gas, and it is not enviromentally friendly or efficient. Or we can use water and electricity but how is this electricity being created? We will likely need to build more coal-fire generators or use propane.

RE: Where will the hydrogen come from?
By danrien on 8/9/2007 1:20:09 PM , Rating: 2
the only benefit i can see then is independence from oil - the reason we're in a bunch of messy conflicts right now. of course, if we built new nuclear plants, then it would all work perfectly. or if we got that fusion plant off the ground.

RE: Where will the hydrogen come from?
By Aganack1 on 8/9/2007 1:27:39 PM , Rating: 2
How is this independence from oil. We may stop using in it our car's, but we would just move it to the power plants to create the energy. We could switch to coal for some of that, but we would quickly exhaust our current ability to produce and would have to import.

RE: Where will the hydrogen come from?
By masher2 on 8/9/2007 2:06:14 PM , Rating: 2
> "How is this independence from oil. We may stop using in it our car's, but we would just move it to the power plants to create the energy"

Little electricity is produced from oil; coal, nuclear, hydro, and natural gas are the primary sources. The US and Canada have abundant reserves of both coal and uranium.

RE: Where will the hydrogen come from?
By smitty3268 on 8/9/2007 2:43:16 PM , Rating: 2
The US is the Saudi Arabia of coal, we would be about the last ones on the planet to run out of it. I think it's already the largest form of power here, isn't it?

By masher2 on 8/9/2007 2:46:12 PM , Rating: 2
Right, the US has by far the world's largest reserves of coal (though I imagine 90% of Russia's reserves have yet to even be found).

Roughly half of US electricity production comes from coal.

RE: Where will the hydrogen come from?
By blaster5k on 8/9/2007 1:26:23 PM , Rating: 2
Nuclear reactors would be better than coal plants, but the Democrats won't support nuclear power (preferring we waste billions littering the landscape with wind turbines and solar cells) and the Republicans will do everything they can to keep coal miners happy.

RE: Where will the hydrogen come from?
By sc3252 on 8/9/2007 8:35:37 PM , Rating: 2
I think its people not liking the byproduct of nuclear energy. I really don't like the idea of radioactive materials stored all over the place for some energy that we can get from somewhere else. I would rather have more wind power and solar plants that are replaceable then a power plant that puts out waste that lasts for thousands of years.

You have to ask yourself, would you rather live next to a nuclear power plant or a solar power plant?

RE: Where will the hydrogen come from?
By Ringold on 8/9/2007 9:14:52 PM , Rating: 2
You have to ask yourself, would you rather live next to a nuclear power plant or a solar power plant?

Thank you for asking!

A nuclear power plant. It creates high-paying jobs, produces cheap power, has yet to be subject to a serious safety breach in the Western world, it works rain or shine, it's highly resistant to weather (I'm not aware of the Florida plants being taken offline despite all the hurricanes), and again -- high paying high-skilled jobs. Oh.. and it looks really, really cool.

A solar plant. Very few jobs, some of which could be done by an illegal immigrant. Not very cool looking, produces no energy at night, on a cloudy or rainy day, and questionable reliability in the face of 120mph winds and the giant debris that becomes airborne in such situations. Forest fire near by? Better turn off the AC! And it looks ugly, and probably takes up much more real-estate for equivalent power production.

Seems simple. Emphasizing the safety record, and that the only real security concern is that rogue countries can use certain types of reactors (not even the commonly built commercial variety, but purpose built ones) to create nuclear weapons, and the high paying jobs and the associated wealth creation with those jobs and the cheap reliable energy, I'd love to live next to a nuclear powerplant.

Oh wait. I already do. :P

RE: Where will the hydrogen come from?
By Viditor on 8/9/2007 9:40:22 PM , Rating: 2
The advantage of Hydrogen is that a plant that produces it using solar doesn't HAVE to be running day and night...
Hydrogen cells are the perfect deployment medium for the 100% safe renewable energies like wind and solar, whereas these forms of energy generation are terrible for power grid demands, and nuclear (or if your name's Bush, Nuculer) appears to be a much better option for the grid.
I don't think it's an either/or question...

RE: Where will the hydrogen come from?
By masher2 on 8/9/2007 10:55:29 PM , Rating: 2
The problem is that solar power tends to be anywhere from 10 to 30 times more expensive than nuclear. When you consider that even nuclear-generated hydrogen will be at least as expensive as gasoline, doing the same with solar means the equivalent of paying $50-$100/gallon at the pump. Not to mention the environmental cost of papering a state or two with solar panels just to generate the needed kW-hours.

> "...or if your name's Bush, Nuculer..."

Interestingly enough, the only nuclear engineer I still know pronounces the word the same way. Presidents Eisenhower and Carter (who himself was a nuclear engineer) also used the same pronunciation.

RE: Where will the hydrogen come from?
By Kuroyama on 8/10/2007 12:25:16 PM , Rating: 2

This is an interesting article on the nuclear vs. solar + hydrogen issue. This is just the press release from Caltech (full version is at ) but it is interesting to note that they suggest nuclear power cannot provide for the energy needs worldwide
As for non-renewable resources, nuclear power plants would do the job, but 10,000 new ones would have to be built. In other words, one new nuclear plant would have to come on-line every other day somewhere in the world for the next 50 years.

In the full version (see link above) Nate Lewis also goes on to argue that no renewable energy sources can provide more than a fraction of the global energy needs, except solar. He also admits that solar in its current form is not cost effective, but if it can be made cheaper then hydrogen could be used as the storage system for day vs. night energy needs.

RE: Where will the hydrogen come from?
By Zoomer on 8/11/2007 7:16:43 AM , Rating: 2
Nobody ever said that 100% reliance on nuclear power is desirable.

RE: Where will the hydrogen come from?
By Kuroyama on 8/12/2007 1:23:35 AM , Rating: 2
Nor did I, but for nuclear power to make a non-trivial difference in our energy needs, then say even for a 25% reliance on nuclear power we'd need a new plant somewhere in the world every 8 days for the next 50 years. Not gonna happen.

By Entropy42 on 8/20/2007 2:17:55 PM , Rating: 2
You'd have to build something like 40 square kilometers of solar panels every 8 days if you chose solar instead of nuclear. Thats roughly equivalent to the world-wide yearly production of solar panels.
The point being that no technology is a silver bullet if all other factors remain the same. If we assume that we need to reduce CO2 levels, it will have to happen in many ways and places.

By PrinceGaz on 8/10/2007 2:49:16 PM , Rating: 2
I have to agree. Here in Britain, there isn't really the space in much of the country for solar-plants or large wind-farms, and even where there is, they are not economically viable. That hasn't stopped wind-farms springing up here there and everywhere in the countryside thanks to government subsidies, but they still generate only a tiny amount of power and cannot be relied upon.

I live roughly 30 miles from Hartlepool nuclear power station, which can generate some 1300MW of electricity, and would rather have that (and hopefully its replacement) nearby, than some enormous wind-farm or solar-plant instead. I dread to guess at how much space would be needed for wind-turbines to generate an average of 1300MW.

Actually I've just looked it up and it seems a UK offshore windfarm it would require roughly 300 sq miles to generate an average of that much power, and would probably cost about £5 billion (the area and cost are based on extrapolating those of the 'London Array' offshore windfarm currently being built, which is expected to be the world's largest upon completion). In other words nuclear is a lot cheaper than windfarms.

There's plenty of uranium to supply all our requirements, and as the largest reserves are in Australia, we're not funding a country with a dubious government (unlike the main sources of both oil and gas).

So yes, I'd rather live near a nuclear plant than a windfarm (solar plants are not really viable in Britain as we don't have enough unused countryside for them, and even if we did, the weather conditions here mean they would rarely operate at full efficiency).

By Oregonian2 on 8/9/2007 2:05:19 PM , Rating: 2
Hydrogen is produced the way it is now, as I understand it, because it had been produced "anyway" as a side effect of some other petrochemical industry process being done anyway -- and it used to just get burnt off rather than sold. For "serious" quantity use of Hydrogen a whole new system would have to be made, and as mentioned by someone, it'd likely be nuclear based. It would have to be a huge major new energy source to replace petroleum in addition to all that being done to produce electricity now for, well, electricity needs (windmills, etc).

still ugly
By omnicronx on 8/9/2007 12:53:42 PM , Rating: 1
although much better looking than the prius, there has to be an aerodynamic design other than that of a flat faced chick nobody would date in high school. Im no engineer, but you would think it would be possible to come up with a design thats easier on the eyes, while at the same time having minimal wind resistance.

RE: still ugly
By OxBow on 8/9/2007 1:48:03 PM , Rating: 2
I like the look.

All these new, boxy and blunt ended designs for many cars today look hideous to me, but other people buy them.

Of course, the issue for me here would be economy vs. gasolene. Right now, there's nothing on the market that will beat the fuel economy of a basic sedan for my commute to work. I'm excited about cars like this, the volt concept and the upcoming plug-in prius. Those are all cars that should flip the equation and make it more logical for my situation.

RE: still ugly
By Oregonian2 on 8/9/2007 2:14:28 PM , Rating: 2
Wonder what the mileage is when including the trailer one needs to have attached to the back (to carry the hydrogen one needs to get back home seeing as how hydrogen refill stations might not be quite as closely spaced as are gasoline stations).

RE: still ugly
By omnicronx on 8/9/07, Rating: -1
RE: still ugly
By johnbuk on 8/9/2007 2:32:14 PM , Rating: 2
I have no problem what-so-ever with the way it looks. The driving range of only 270 miles is a total deal breaker though as I have a 50 mile drive each way to work every day.

RE: still ugly
By mindless1 on 8/9/2007 2:46:49 PM , Rating: 2
... and of course ( 2 * 50 ) > 270

RE: still ugly
By masher2 on 8/9/2007 2:48:22 PM , Rating: 2
> "The driving range of only 270 miles is a total deal breaker though as I have a 50 mile drive each way to work every day"

50x2 = 100 < 270....?

RE: still ugly
By bfonnes on 8/9/2007 4:16:05 PM , Rating: 1
I think you overlooked the sarcasm inherent in his response

RE: still ugly
By masher2 on 8/9/2007 5:55:42 PM , Rating: 1
I must be blind then; I still don't see it. :)

RE: still ugly
By Oregonian2 on 8/9/2007 7:03:59 PM , Rating: 2
Must be the additional 200 mile drive to the nearest hydrogen station. :-)

RE: still ugly
By Brandon Hill on 8/9/2007 2:53:46 PM , Rating: 2
Unless you currently drive a vehicle that gets 500 miles on a tank of gas, what exactly is the problem?

50 miles x twice daily x five days a week = 500 miles

The HCX gets 270 miles per tank.

If you were to start with a full tank on Monday morning, you would still have to fill up at least once with either an HCX or 95% of cars on the road.

RE: still ugly
By pauldovi on 8/9/2007 3:12:18 PM , Rating: 2
Not to mention this is a 1st generation car. Future generations will rapidly increase range, speed, and efficiency. :)

RE: still ugly
By Spuke on 8/9/2007 7:18:40 PM , Rating: 2
Future generations will rapidly increase range, speed, and efficiency. :)
You forgot price.

RE: still ugly
By geddarkstorm on 8/10/2007 1:01:19 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah really. My little '04 Kia Rio doesn't have that range and isn't as good looking either. This car is sweet--especially if you've seen the interior. Amazing range really for the very first potential production model on a totally new power source for a car.

What about converting regular engines to hydrogen
By Spyvie on 8/9/2007 1:10:30 PM , Rating: 3
What I want to know… is it really more efficient to run hydrogen through a fuel cell than it is to burn hydrogen in a conventional ICE?

The difficult part of switching to hydrogen is the distribution infrastructure. Once enough refueling stations are in place why not just use the hydrogen in a piston engine?

Are there on board storage (fuel tank) differences between the two?

RE: What about converting regular engines to hydrogen
By A5un on 8/9/2007 1:18:36 PM , Rating: 2
I have trouble with the term fuel cell.

I'm not entirely sure what it means, but in form of motor sport (correct me if I'm wrong) it basically meant anything that contains fuel.

By blaster5k on 8/9/2007 1:29:52 PM , Rating: 2
A fuel cell is a component that uses a chemical reaction to generate electricity. It's somewhat like a battery, but instead of charging it up with electricity, you give it reactants to make the electricity with -- like hydrogen.

By Aganack1 on 8/9/2007 1:42:01 PM , Rating: 3
What we use in most motor sports today is from a combustion engine which uses the force of the splitting molecules through an explosion to create energy, where as a fuel cell will use electricity to split the molecules to extract the energy that was stored in the bonds.

By masher2 on 8/9/2007 2:21:39 PM , Rating: 3
A fuel cell doesn't use electricity to split molecules. Somewhat simplistically, it's almost the exact reverse of that -- it generates electricity through the splitting of chemical bonds.

Think of it as just a battery that consumes its chemical reactants.

By geddarkstorm on 8/10/2007 2:45:03 PM , Rating: 2
I think what you meant to say was through the formation of chemical bonds. The hydrogen fuel cell gets electricity by combining hydrogen and oxygen to form molecular water. All molecules have chemical bonds as all molecules are multiple atoms.

By Oregonian2 on 8/9/2007 2:07:38 PM , Rating: 3
The term "fuel cell" used in this context (an electrical battery of sorts) is one that has been around "forever" to nerd types. Maybe just not to nascar set. :-)

By Viditor on 8/9/2007 9:48:16 PM , Rating: 2
To be more precise...

A hydrogen fuel cell produces electricity onboard the vehicle. The fuel cell combines hydrogen (stored in a tank) with oxygen in the air to make electricity. The electricity then powers the electric motor, which in turn ultimately propels the vehicle. Water is the only byproduct from the tailpipe.

Fuel cells create electricity through an electrochemical process that combines hydrogen and oxygen.
1. Hydrogen fuel is fed into the anode of the fuel cell.
2. Helped by a catalyst, hydrogen atoms are split into electrons and protons.
3. Electrons are channeled through a circuit to produce electricity.
4. Protons pass through the polymer electrolyte membrane.
5. Oxygen (from the air) enters the cathode and combines with the electrons and protons to form water.
6. Water vapor and heat are released as byproducts of this reaction.

By geddarkstorm on 8/10/2007 2:53:33 PM , Rating: 2
Oh heck yeah. There's no way you can get a fraction of the energy a fuel cell makes if you actually combust hydrogen. Nevermind that hydrogen is a horrible fuel if you want to burn it--it's a much different process. On top of that, hydrogen and oxygen gas have larger volumes than water vapor, so in combusting hydrogen, you'd get only a very small mechanical force through pressure increase related to temperature and negated somewhat by the loss of comparable volume in making water. Compare this to gasoline which is in a liquid vapor phase when injected into an engine, is very dense, and then reacts to make many moles of gas; not only do you get gas expansion and pressure due to temperature, but your total volume at the same temperature has greatly increased as well which is an explosion.

Back where I used to live. My neighbors loved to fill baloons with hydrogen and then put them over a flame. They'd give a nice boom, a flash of flame, but that was it. If they used gasoline vapor, they'd be knocked head over heels by the resulting explosion. Gasoline is vastly more energetic in combustion terms.

So, hydrogen could never be used in a piston engine. It would give you almost no force with which to drive the piston down--hence why they are using fuel cells instead of trying to treat hydrogen like ethanol and stuff it into an ICE.

By Pessimism on 8/9/2007 1:46:05 PM , Rating: 1
Honda will use the credit as an excuse to inflate the price of the vehicle by at least $15,000.

RE: Gouging
By Oregonian2 on 8/9/2007 2:09:24 PM , Rating: 2
Hope they do. That'd make it VERY inviting for competitors to join in with their models -- huge margins would invite others with emphasis.

RE: Gouging
By mindless1 on 8/9/2007 2:43:41 PM , Rating: 2
All it would do is reduce sales, drastically enough to cause the manufacturers to consider it a failure.

RE: Gouging
By Cygni on 8/9/2007 3:05:49 PM , Rating: 2
The FCX is built in Honda's high tech Tochigi Factory in Japan, home of the S2000, Insight, and NSX assembly lines. This is a very low volume factory, and judging by the past delivery ammounts of the other vehicles to come from the factory, demand will far FAR outstrip supply for this car for its entire lifespan. The S2000 had a factory waiting list for years at its launch, as did the Insight.

Considering the incredible hoop-la the FCX will create around it when it hits the public and Tochigi's low production rate, Honda effectivly can price the FCX where ever it wants and still sell every unit they can produce.

Honda does have a vested interested in the success of the FCX, so the price isnt likely to be astronomical. As Honda is going to be the first on the market with a fuel cell car, they need it to be publically succesful. If they can establish a "fuel cell cars = Honda" link in the American psyche while also gaining R&D time on its competitors, Honda will be in a very, very strong position if fuel cells do become the wave of the future as many analysts predict.

RE: Gouging
By Oregonian2 on 8/9/2007 7:13:31 PM , Rating: 2
Don't think so. He said they'd jack up the price artificially to take advantage of the tax break, they wouldn't do that if it were to affect their sales significantly, that'd be dumb, and Honda is not dumb. Might be too expensive if it's just too expensive to make in the low quantities they will be made, and if anything they may sell it below cost as Toyota did as I recall with the first hybrids. But if they could "jack it up" and still sell all they make then it may be a good thing (as I mentioned) because others would then be interested in joining the high profit club (except for the U.S. makers though, they'd ignore market trends until it's been established by others for at least ten years or so to prove the market and where they'd be sufficiently behind to never catch up).

RE: Gouging
By hirichardhi on 8/9/2007 9:54:20 PM , Rating: 2
I agree. The IRS should have waited until the cars were priced and in mass production before they offered this credit. It's obviously a political move that some (probably republican) politician will be touting come next year's elections.

By A5un on 8/9/2007 12:56:01 PM , Rating: 5
I hope this is the final design of the car. It looks fabulous. A hint of Audi R8 and Honda's recent Civic coupe, wow, just candy to my eyes. And performance isn't so bad either, considering my 1.8L petro car has a 0-60 of about...errrr...the half-life of carbon?

RE: Wow!
By brownzilla786 on 8/9/2007 1:49:29 PM , Rating: 2
same as what I was thinking, personally I love the design

RE: Wow!
By geddarkstorm on 8/10/2007 3:22:59 PM , Rating: 2
And what about the interior? I think it's the most beautiful interior design I've ever seen. But that, of course, is always personal opinion ;)

Sales reps will love this.
By Mitch101 on 8/9/2007 1:51:54 PM , Rating: 2
The really sad part is now sales has a major tool for selling these cars at overinflated prices. Much like why I dont have solar panels on my roof. That 12K translates to them overpricing the vehicle to consumers using the sales pitch of a tax break and like you see with Toyota here today gone tommorow are your breaks. This is the same reason I dont have solar panels on my house its because they overprice the panels and sell you on the idea of a tax break as making your money back to offset the cost. The problem is laws change very rapidly and in the end the consumer who tries to do good is screwed in the end.

When pricing solar panels it was several thousand less if you can buy them direct without the sales pitch of tax incentives. If price gouging doesnt occur then I will seriously consider getting one as I need a new car by next year.

RE: Sales reps will love this.
By JonnyDough on 8/10/2007 4:18:55 PM , Rating: 2
Mitch, I'm not sure you understand how the tax cut works. You get a fat check from the government the year you buy the car, unless you owe the government more than 12K. This has nothing to do with "laws changing fast" since tax laws are in place BEFORE the year of taxation. You can look up tax laws for 2007 right now, get a tax cut on a green vehicle and get the money back around May. It's really rather simple. Solar panels pay for themselves in under a decade now. They're continually getting better, and many people using them are getting money back from the grid. I'd suggest doing more research on things before making such silly comments. As for "price gouging" those are pretty strong words as well. Charging a premium for new technology is not "price gouging." This is a TEST PHASE, so it's likely you WON'T be driving a hydrogen car anytime next year, although it is possible...particularly if you have the dough.

RE: Sales reps will love this.
By Mitch101 on 8/15/2007 4:18:45 PM , Rating: 2
I did do the reasearch and the increased cost of doing solar panels was twice that of the government rebate and you are about right it would take about 12 years to recoup the cost (you left out maintenance of the product and battery replacements as Im sure you expect no problems and full functionality for 10 years which wont happen) of the solar panels but if done yourself you could recoup that cost in about 4 years maybe 5 if you find a qualified electrician to do the job instead of the usual crooks. When you remove the overhead of the installation companies charging thier premiums its not a bad deal. Had I not gone direct for pricing I would have been suckered into this. So yes it is price gouging just like the premiums plumbers are doing for installing hot water on demand systems which if your existing system is electric to begin with then there is little to no difference on the install but plublers are charging $1500 or more for the installation for no additional work for them. I also got a quote some time ago on installing a tub and once I mentioned the word jacuzzi the price went from $250.00 to $1000.00 for the install. It cost me $23.00 and 2 trips to home depot to do it myself. 3 different plumbing companies all trying the same scam. Hooking up a jacuzzi tub is no different than any other tub and I supplied the drain valve. Too many professions are overcharging for the same BS job it would be to install or do a lower item than a higher end item. Its the same job. Im off on a tangent now.

As for government incentives I donated my last vehicle to a charity "Cars for Kids Program" and was supposed to get a government tax rebate for the blue book value of the vehicle. Instead they changed the law before the end of the year and was only entitled to a $500 max deduction instead of approx $5500 I should have recieved. So yes unfortunately the laws change fast and there is no pre-clause allowing me the total tax deduction before the tax amount was changed otherwise I would have sold the vehicle outright and given them a generous portion of the sale. Instead the government screwed everyone in the deal. The poor woman on the other end of the phone was hysterical crying because she knows that is going to kill thier program to help kids.

From everything I've read...
By JonnyDough on 8/10/2007 6:59:47 AM , Rating: 2
diesel is the future. Audi designed a diesel race car. Google it under diesel race car and feel free to add words like gas or mileage. Diesel engines today have been refined to a point where they offer lower emissions and more mileage than the unleaded vehicles on the road today. In Europe, they're already driving a lot more diesel cars than what we are here in America. Who do you think redesigned the engine? Hydrogen and ethanol etc, are not as viable of solutions as many seem to think. Our dependency on oil is here to stay regardless of how much we burn in our vehicles, just consider all the plastics we use. The key is to lower the amount of oil we have to buy from other countries. If America can make this jump more quickly than many other countries around the world, we may end up very wealthy in no time at all. The U.S. spends billions of dollars a year importing oil.

RE: From everything I've read...
By geddarkstorm on 8/10/2007 3:26:10 PM , Rating: 2
I think you are right to a degree--that we need to switch to diesel as soon as possible, but only till a hydrogen infrastructure has been established. Ultimately, we need to dump oil based products when it comes to engines. Plastics is a whole other realm--you can't burn the stuff they use to make plastics in an engine, even if the source is similar. And, you can easily make plastics synthetically. Eventually we'll run out of oil that is good enough for an ICE, but we'll always have what we need for plastics, I think.

RE: From everything I've read...
By JonnyDough on 8/10/2007 4:28:57 PM , Rating: 2
Diesel cars today can get over 60mpg, and with heat-release capture technologies available that can generate power from the heat the engine creates that number can be raised. The problem is that the big car companies are dumping money into researching "next generation" technologies and failing to utilize the ones we already have. There's no reason that every car being made today isn't a hybrid. Government needs to pass laws more quickly to address the problems we face. Aside from global warming, medical costs to this country due to things like cancer are ridiculous and cost taxpayers billions each year. Getting rid of smog could ultimately lower our taxes. The government is afraid to abolish cigarettes not because of backlash but because of all the money they make from taxation of cigarettes. Yet, how many people would have an extra grand or two in their pockets each year to spur the economy? How much gas, pollution, and car wrecks would be saved from people no longer driving to the store for a pack of cigarettes? My point is that things tend to balance out when you make a move to do things right. Making stricter laws for vehicles is a great start. The EPA cracked down hard on emissions, and it angered some people. But back in the 80's I noticed a lot more choking exhaust while waiting in traffic than I do now.

Regarding looks
By mindless1 on 8/9/2007 10:09:22 PM , Rating: 2
It's good that they did not just try to clone the look of whatever car was very popular at the time. Who really wants all cars to look the same?

Trucks anyone?!
By Xenoterranos on 8/10/2007 12:30:34 AM , Rating: 2
Please, Honda, anyone, put this tech in a truck where it would do the most good. Most trucks waste more energy than sports cars! Fleet owners would be more likely to replace aging vehicles with those that could save them money in the long run. They would be able to buy their fuel in bulk and thus the hydrogen problem would be minimal for them.
I, as a truck owner, would love nothing more than to know I can drive the vehicle I need to drive while not feeling wasteful for only having one person in the car 95% of the time.

"So, I think the same thing of the music industry. They can't say that they're losing money, you know what I'm saying. They just probably don't have the same surplus that they had." -- Wu-Tang Clan founder RZA

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki