Japanese car manufacturer Honda has begun the first commercial production of a zero-emission, hydrogen fuel-cell powered vehicle. The four-seater, called FCX Clarity, runs on electricity produced by combining hydrogen with oxygen, and emits water vapour. Honda claims the vehicle offers three times better fuel efficiency than a traditional, petrol-powered car.
Honda plans to produce 200 of the cars over the next three years.
One of the biggest obstacles standing in the way of wider adoption of fuel-cell vehicles is the lack of hydrogen fuelling stations. Critics also point out that hydrogen is costly to produce and the most common way to produce hydrogen is still from fossil fuels.
Analysis of the environmental impact of different fuel technologies has shown that the overall carbon dioxide emissions from hydrogen powered cars can be higher than that from petrol or diesel-powered vehicles.