Now this is something I really approve of.
As many of you will have seen on last week’s Top Gear, May was out playing with the Honda’s FCX Clarity in California, and commented, just as we have, that this is the real way forward for electric cars.
The Honda FCX Clarity is the first proper road-going Hydrogen powered vehicle to hit the roads. It uses hydrogen to generate electricity – onboard – which is used to drive the car’s electric motors. Which means, with a proper hydrogen refuelling infrastructure in place, that we can continue to get fuel for our cars as and when we need it. No need to search out a re-charging station for a ‘quick’ 3.5 hour charge when we run out, or plug the car in to the mains at home overnight for enough charge to get to work the next day.
And who is sticking his neck out and championing this, the most promising of new fuel technologies? Why, none other than the Governator himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has even had one of his favourite Hummers converted to run on hydrogen, and is pushing ahead with plans to have a full hydrogen re-fuelling infrastructure at petrol (or should I say, gas) stations throughout California. Which makes Arnie, who has been decried in the past for being an Austrian ‘Nazi’, probably the most important champion of this ‘Planet Saving’ technology. The left-wing eco-loonies won’t like that.
But despite this hugely promising solution, the eco-mentalists are nay-saying even this. According to Tony Bosworth of Friends of the Earth:
“Hydrogen is only as green as the electrical energy used to separate it.
“If the electricity comes from fossil fuels such as coal or gas, these cars will still be contributing to climate change.
“If the hydrogen is made with wind or solar power, it would be genuinely green but widespread commercialisation of hydrogen technology is years away and we need transport solutions now.”
I don’t remember FoE actually decrying plug-in EVs for the same reason, despite the obvious self-same argument about electricity generation. And, as with oil, the hydrogen extraction can take place where it is most practical to do so and not be a drain on the National Grid. Still, FoE and the like have never seemed to have much cohesion in their arguments.
The Honda FCX Clarity is being leased for around £400 per month in SoCal. It manages 0-60 in around 10 seconds and does the equivalent of 75mpg.
I’d have one for day-to-day. At least until they manage a nice AM with a 0-60 of 3 seconds and 50mpg!